Type I interferons (IFN-α/β) and the more recently identified type III IFNs (IFN-λ) function as the first line of defense against virus infection and regulate the development of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Type III IFNs were originally identified as a novel ligand-receptor system acting in parallel with type I IFNs, but subsequent studies have provided increasing evidence for distinct roles for each IFN family. In addition to their compartmentalized antiviral actions, these two systems appear to have multiple levels of cross-regulation and act coordinately to achieve effective antimicrobial protection with minimal collateral damage to the host.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology