Gene Expression and Interferon

  • Bruce D. Korant
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 101)


The regulation of gene expression in the interferon system falls into two distinct sub-topics. First is the induction of the interferon structural genes in cells infected with a virus or treated with some other inducer, such as double-stranded RNA or lectins. The second involves the mechanism of interferon action, in which several distinct genes are induced in interferon-treated cells to be transcribed and translated as the cells become virus resistant or cease their usual division cycle. In neither the induction of interferon nor its action is much known about specific effects on chromatin structure, but it is presumed that perturbations do occur as in other examples of regulated gene expression. Besides providing yet another “model” system, the interferons offer the following features: very rapid alterations in gene expression initiated at the cell surface by a relatively few inducing molecules (only one molecule in some cell types), leading to profound biological sequelae (refractility to viruses and blockade of cell cycle movements). The interferons are particularly interesting because cell division often stops in treated cells, in comparison to other hormonally-regulated systems where division rates are enhanced. The property of interferons to make cell cultures quiescent thus avoids the problem of studying cascades of gene expression which occur in growth-stimulated cells.


Human Interferon Human Fibroblast Cell Interferon Gene Interferon Receptor Intracellular Polyamine 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce D. Korant
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Research & Development Department Experimental StationE. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc.WilmingtonUSA

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