Caister Academic Press

Antiviral function of interferons

Marisela Rodriguez, Jessica A. Campbell and Deborah J. Lenschow
from: Viruses and Interferon: Current Research (Edited by: Karen Mossman). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


The type I interferon (IFN) system plays a critical role in limiting the spread of viral infection. Viruses induce the production of IFN-α and β, which bind to the IFN-α/ β receptor (IFNAR) and trigger the JAK/STAT signaling cascade. The ensuing induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) inhibits viral replication by targeting multiple points in the viral life cycle. ISGs exert their antiviral function through diverse mechanisms, including activities directly targeting the virus such as the degradation of viral RNA, the inhibition of translation, the blockade of virion release, and actions that modify the host response including regulation of the IFN response, NF-κB signaling, and apoptosis, among others. This chapter reviews several ISGs that have been shown to mediate antiviral activity either in vitro or in vivo, and in some cases, both. The mechanisms by which individual ISGs confer cellular protection are summarized, although the effector pathways of certain ISGs are still being delineated. The study of ISGs continues to provide important contributions to our understanding of the host-virus interface and the cellular antiviral response read more ...
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