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J Biol Chem. 2004 Oct 22;279(43):45194-207. Epub 2004 Aug 11.

Global and distinct targets of IRF-5 and IRF-7 during innate response to viral infection.

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  • 1The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


The interferon regulatory factors (IRF) are transcriptional mediators of cellular response to viral invasion that play a critical role in the innate antiviral defense. Two of these factors, IRF-5 and IRF-7, play a critical role in the induction of interferon (IFNA) genes in infected cells; they are expressed constitutively in monocytes, B cells, and precursors of dendritic cells (pDC2) that are high producers of interferon alpha, and their expression can be further stimulated by type I interferon. The goal of the present study was to identify and analyze expression of cellular genes that are modulated by IRF-5 and IRF-7 during the innate response to viral infection. The transcription profiles of infected BJAB cells overexpressing IRF-5 or IRF-7 were determined by using oligonucleotide arrays with probe sets representing about 6800 human genes. This analysis shows that IRF-5 and IRF-7 activate a broad profile of heterologous genes encoding not only antiviral, inflammatory, and pro-apoptotic proteins but also proteins of other functional categories. The number of IRF-5- and IRF-7-modulated genes was significantly higher in infected than in uninfected cells, and the transcription signature was predominantly positive. Although IRF-5 and IRF-7 stimulated a large number of common genes, a distinct functional profile was associated with each of these IRFs. The noted difference was a broad antiviral and early inflammatory transcriptional profile in infected BJAB/IRF-5 cells, whereas the IRF-7-induced transcripts were enriched for the group of mitochondrial genes and genes affecting the DNA structure. Taken together, these data indicate that IRF-5 and IRF-7 act primarily as transcriptional activators and that IRF-5-and IRF-7-induced innate antiviral response results in a broad alteration of the transcriptional profile of cellular genes.

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