Non-Antiviral Actions of Interferons
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Interferons induce cells to inhibit virus replication, by an intricate system that can be described as a primary line of defense activated in cells by interferon which, by itself can likely handle translation processes of some viruses. However, if viruses are able to avoid being completely restricted by this mechanism and can begin to produce double-stranded RNA replicative forms, the cell responds more affirmatively by activating a number of more potent resistance mechanisms, such as kinases to phosphorylate (and thus inactivate) initiation factors, and an enzyme can also be activated that synthesizes a low molecular weight effector which then activates an endoribonuclease which degrades messenger RNAs. And if all else fails, the cell can abort the whole system by an interferon-induced self-destruct mechanism. It is possible that the severity of the cell’s initial response may be determined by the concentration of interferon it is exposed to, and dimensions of its secondary or subsequent responses may be determined by interferon concentrations and ability of the viruses to form triggers for these reactions.