Induction and function of type i and III interferon in response to viral infection

David E. Levy, Isabelle J. Marié, Joan E. Durbin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


The type I and III interferon (IFN) families consist of cytokines rapidly induced during viral infection that confer antiviral protection on target cells and are critical components of innate immune responses and the transition to effective adaptive immunity. The regulation of their expression involves an intricate and stringently regulated signaling cascade, initiated by recognition most often of viral nucleic acid in cytoplasmic and endosomal compartments and involving a series of protein conformational rearrangements and interactions regulated by helicase action, ubiquitin modification, and protein aggregation, culminating in kinase activation and phosphorylation of critical transcription factors and their regulators. The many IFN subtypes induced by viruses confer amplification, diversification, and cell-type specificity to the host response to infection, providing fertile ground for development of antiviral therapeutics and vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-486
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology

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