Chapter

Interferon: The 50th Anniversary

Volume 316 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 233-250

The Interferon-Stimulated Genes: Targets of Direct Signaling by Interferons, Double-Stranded RNA, and Viruses

  • G. C. SenAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Genetics/NE20, The Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic
  • , S. N. SarkarAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Genetics/NE20, The Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

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Abstract

The interferon system plays a profound role in determining the outcome of viral infection in mammals. Viruses induce the synthesis of interferon, which, in turn, blocks virus replication by inducing the expression of antiviral proteins encoded by interferon-stimulated genes. It is not widely appreciated that without the participation of interferon, many of the same genes can also be induced by a variety of virus-related agents, such as double-stranded RNA and viral proteins. In this chapter, we discuss different signaling pathways, activated by these agents, that lead to the induction of partially overlapping sets of genes, including the interferon-stimulated genes. We also review the biochemical and cellular properties of the protein products of a selected number of these genes including ISG56, ISG54, and ISG15.