Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), a glycoprotein secreted by antigen-or mitogen-activated lymphocytes, modulates the activities of lymphocytes and macrophages. For mouse macrophages, murine IFN-gamma (MuIFN-gamma) stimulates several functions, including phagocytosis, tumoricidal activity, and the increased expression of Ia and H-2 antigens of the major histocompatibility complex. Recent reports have suggested that IFN-gamma specifically binds to cell surface receptors corresponding to a single class of binding sites with a Kd of 10(-8) to 10(-10) M. We present evidence that, on the murine macrophage cell line WEHI-3, MuIFN-gamma specifically binds to two classes of binding sites with Kd of 9.1 X 10(-11) M (500 sites/cell) and 2.7 X 10(-9) M (4400 sites/cell). The higher affinity sites most likely represent the physiologically relevant receptors that mediate at least some of the actions of MuIFN-gamma.

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