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J Clin Invest. 2006 Nov;116(11):3006-14. Epub 2006 Oct 12.

Virus-induced type I IFN stimulates generation of immunoproteasomes at the site of infection.

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  • 1Immunology Section and Liver Diseases Branch, NIDDK, NIH, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


IFN-gamma is known as the initial and primary inducer of immunoproteasomes during viral infections. We now report that type I IFN induced the transcription and translation of immunoproteasome subunits, their incorporation into the proteasome complex, and the generation of an immunoproteasome-dependent CD8 T cell epitope in vitro and provide in vivo evidence that this mechanism occurs prior to IFN-gamma responses at the site of viral infection. Type I IFN-mediated generation of immunoproteasomes was initiated by either poly(I:C) or HCV RNA in human hepatoma cells and was inhibited by neutralization of type I IFN. In serial liver biopsies of chimpanzees with acute HCV infection, increases in immunoproteasome subunit mRNA preceded intrahepatic IFN-gamma responses by several weeks, instead coinciding with intrahepatic type I IFN responses. Thus, viral RNA-induced innate immune responses regulate the antigen-processing machinery, which occurs prior to the detection of IFN-gamma at the site of infection. This mechanism may contribute to the high effectiveness (95%) of type I IFN-based therapies if administered early during HCV infection.

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