The Interaction between Gangliosides and Interferon

  • V. E. Vengris
  • B. F. Fernie
  • P. M. Pitha
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 125)


The mechanism by which interferon induces an antiviral state in cells has not been completely understood. All the experimental evidence suggests that for the manifestation of the effect contact with the sensitive cells is sufficient. The existence of interferon specific membrane receptor site has been postulated1,2. Treatment of cells with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) blocked the development of antiviral activity following interferon treatment3. Also, sepharosebound interferon lost its antiviral activity after preincubation with gangliosides, especially GM2 and GT1,4 and soluble interferon was bound to sepharose-ganglioside beads.4 Recently, it has been reported that cholera toxin (choleragen) added together with interferon inhibited the establishment of antiviral activity.5 Since ganglioside Mil functions as a specific membrane receptor and mediates the action of cholera toxin6,7, it is not unreasonable to suggest, in view of the interferon-ganglioside interaction, that membrane ganglioside may also play a role in the binding and action of interferon. This work further explores the relationship between gangliosides and interferon action in normal human fibroblasts and in ganglioside-deficient, transformed mouse fibroblasts.7,8,9


Antiviral Activity Cholera Toxin Normal Human Fibroblast Antiviral State Interferon Action 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. E. Vengris
    • 2
    • 1
  • B. F. Fernie
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. M. Pitha
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Food and Drug AdministrationBureau of Veterinary MedicineRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.The Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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