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as a prefix such as in irIL3, irACTH, irIGF-1, this abbr. stands for "immunoreactive", i.e., a substance reacting with antibodies directed against the respective protein (IL3, ACTH, IGF-1). A simple prefixed or suffixed letter 'i' may be used also.

The observation that a protein reacts with a specific antibody essentially means that the protein in question contains epitopes also occurring in the protein against which the antibody was developed in the first place. Immunoreactivity is not a biochemical proof that the two proteins are identical. In addition, it is known that many cytokines have sequence variants that differ, for example, from the prototype sequence by terminal extensions or internal skipping of single coding regions (exons). Depending upon the nature of the antibody it would also recognize these variants of a factor.

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