, Volume 35, Issue 1-2, pp 27-39

Interferons and viruses

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Abstract

Interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-β are critical mediators of host defense against microbial challenges, directly interfering with viral infection and influencing both the innate and adaptive immune responses. IFNs exert their effects in target cells through the activation of a cell-surface receptor, leading to a cascade of signaling events that determine transcriptional and translation regulation. Understanding the circuitry associated with IFN-mediated signal transduction that leads to a specific biological outcome has been a major focus of our laboratory. Through the efforts of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, a skilled research technologist, and important collaborations with investigators elsewhere, we have provided some insights into the complexity of the IFN system—and the elegance and simplicity of how protein-protein interactions define biological function.