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Nat Immunol. 2003 Jan;4(1):69-77. Epub 2002 Dec 16.

IFN-lambdas mediate antiviral protection through a distinct class II cytokine receptor complex.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07103, USA. kotenkse@umdnj.edu

Abstract

We report here the identification of a ligand-receptor system that, upon engagement, leads to the establishment of an antiviral state. Three closely positioned genes on human chromosome 19 encode distinct but paralogous proteins, which we designate interferon-lambda1 (IFN-lambda1), IFN-lambda2 and IFN-lambda3 (tentatively designated as IL-29, IL-28A and IL-28B, respectively, by HUGO). The expression of IFN-lambda mRNAs was inducible by viral infection in several cell lines. We identified a distinct receptor complex that is utilized by all three IFN-lambda proteins for signaling and is composed of two subunits, a receptor designated CRF2-12 (also designated as IFN-lambdaR1) and a second subunit, CRF2-4 (also known as IL-10R2). Both receptor chains are constitutively expressed on a wide variety of human cell lines and tissues and signal through the Jak-STAT (Janus kinases-signal transducers and activators of transcription) pathway. This receptor-ligand system may contribute to antiviral or other defenses by a mechanism similar to, but independent of, type I IFNs.

Comment in

  • Novel interferons. [Nat Immunol. 2003]
PMID:
12483210
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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