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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2003 Jun;23(6):277-92.

Interferons and apoptosis.

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Translational Control Group, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London SW17 0RE, UK.


The interferons (IFNs), in addition to their well-known antiviral activities, have important roles in the control of cell proliferation and are effective agents for the treatment of a limited number of malignant diseases. IFNs not only regulate cell growth and division but also influence cell survival through their effects on apoptosis. This review describes the current state of knowledge about the mechanisms of action of these cytokines on the apoptotic machinery, with particular emphasis on the synergism that exists between the IFNs and other proapoptotic agents, such as members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family. The review also discusses the physiologic and clinical implications of the effects of the IFNs on apoptosis for regulation of viral infection and tumor growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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