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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jul 13;282(28):20047-51. Epub 2007 May 14.

The interferons: 50 years after their discovery, there is much more to learn.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology, and Immunology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.


The interferons (IFNs) and their receptors represent a subset of the class 2 alpha-helical cytokines that have been in chordates for millions of years. This brief review focuses on the discovery and purification of interferons, cloning of human IFN-alpha and IFN-beta, interferon receptors, activities and therapeutic uses of interferons, and the side effects of interferons.

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