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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 Feb;14(2):1500-9.

Structure and regulation of the human interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) and IRF-2 genes: implications for a gene network in the interferon system.

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Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University, Japan.


Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) and IRF-2 are structurally similar DNA-binding factors which were originally identified as regulators of the type I interferon (IFN) system; the former functions as a transcriptional activator, and the latter represses IRF-1 function by competing for the same cis elements. More recent studies have revealed new roles of the two factors in the regulation of cell growth; IRF-1 and IRF-2 manifest antioncogenic and oncogenic activities, respectively. In this study, we determined the structures and chromosomal locations of the human IRF-1 and IRF-2 genes and further characterized the promoters of the respective genes. Comparison of exon-intron organization of the two genes revealed a common evolutionary structure, notably within the exons encoding the N-terminal portions of the two factors. We confirmed the chromosomal mapping of the human IRF-1 gene to 5q31.1 and newly assigned the IRF-2 gene to 4q35.1, using fluorescence in situ hybridization. The 5' regulatory regions of both genes contain highly GC-rich sequences and consensus binding sequences for several known transcription factors, including NF-kappa B. Interestingly, one IRF binding site was found within the IRF-2 promoter, and expression of the IRF-2 gene was affected by both transient and stable IRF-1 expression. In addition, one potential IFN-gamma-activated sequence was found within the IRF-1 promoter. Thus, these results may shed light on the complex gene network involved in regulation of the IFN system.

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