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The porcine MX1 and MX2 promoters were characterized in this study. Sequencing of the 332-bp MX1 promoter region identified 15 substitutions and insertions at three positions in 21 pigs from 15 breeds, in which nine genotypes were classified. Among the nine genotypes, no statistically significant differences in the promoter activities were observed after interferon (IFN-α 2b) treatment of transiently transfected cells containing constructs with luciferase reporter plasmids. The 341-bp MX2 promoter region contained regulatory sequences for ISRE, GC box, Sp1 and AP-1, as well as a TATA box. Nucleotide sequences of the MX2 promoter region revealed four substitutions and one deletion, in which six genotypes were classified. Among the six genotypes, a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) in MX2 promoter activities after IFN-α 2b treatment was detected in transiently transfected cells.