Type I Interferon: The Ever Unfolding Story

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Since the discovery of interferon 50 years ago, the understanding of the mechanism of the virus-mediated induction of type I IFN and its function has been under intensive investigation. Remarkable progress has been made in recent years both in the identification of cellular receptors detecting the viral infection and in the understanding the signaling pathways resulting in the induction of interferon and interferon-induced genes. In this review of type I interferon, we aim to summarize not only the historical site of the interferon induction and its antiviral function, but also the complexity of the signals that lead to activation of expression of interferon genes and the expanding repertoire of this multifunctional protein.