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Int Rev Immunol. 2002 Jul-Oct;21(4-5):305-37.

Viruses and the type I interferon antiviral system: induction and evasion.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology, New York, NY, USA.


The type I interferon (IFN) system responds to viral infection and induces an "antiviral state" in cells, providing an important first line of defense against virus infection. Interaction of type I IFNs (IFN alpha and IFN beta) with their receptor induces hundreds of cellular genes. Of the proteins induced by IFN, the antiviral function of only a few is known, and their mechanisms of action are only partly understood. Additionally, although viral-encoded mechanisms that counteract specific components of the type I IFN response have been known for some time, it has recently become clear that many (if not most) viruses encode some form of IFN-antagonist. Understanding the interplay between viral-encoded IFN antagonists and the interferon response will be essential if the therapeutic potential of IFNs is to be fully exploited.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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