Abstract: Purification of transfer factors

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Conrad D. Stephenson Laboratory for Research in Immunology, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado.

Transfer factor activities have been studied in both clinical and basic science settings for several decades. Until now, highly purified transfer factors that are suitable for molecular analysis have not been available. This has impeded progress towards understanding the molecular and cellular basis of the activities of these important inducers of cell-mediated immune responses. Murine transfer factors with specificities for chicken egg albumin or horse spleen ferritin were purified to virtual homogeneity using a combination of affinity chromatography and reversed-phase and polytypic high performance liquid chromatography (hplc). Transfer factors prepared by this methodology were recovered in high yield and in biologically-active, antigen-specific forms. The purified materials were further analyzed using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, chromatographic methods and an in vivo assay for immunological activity. For the first time definitions for unit transfer factor activity and specific activity are introduced. The results of these experiments indicate that transfer factors are a family of highly polar, hydrophilic molecules of low molecular weight (approximately 5,000) which are produced in small quantities by lymphoid cells and which have potent biological activity. The availability of purified transfer factors should facilitate definitive studies into the nature and mechanisms of production and action of these molecules.

Mol Immunol 1992 Feb;29(2):167-82

PMID: 1542296, UI: 92178226

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