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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2013 Apr;33(4):206-10. doi: 10.1089/jir.2012.0133.

The schlafen family of proteins and their regulation by interferons.

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Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The Schlafen (SLFN) family of proteins includes several mouse and human members. There is emerging evidence that members of this family of proteins are involved in important functions, such as the control of cell proliferation, induction of immune responses, and the regulation of viral replication. These proteins span across all species with great diversity, with 10 murine and 5 human isoforms. Recent work has established that mouse and human SLFN proteins are regulated by interferons (IFNs). Several Slfn genes were shown to be induced as classical interferon-stimulated genes, and emerging evidence suggests that these proteins play important roles in the growth inhibitory and antineoplastic effects of IFNs. In the current review, the known properties of mouse and human SLFNs are reviewed, and the implications of their emerging functions are discussed.

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