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Biochimie. 1998 Aug-Sep;80(8-9):641-50.

The role of interferon regulatory factors in the interferon system and cell growth control.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Complex cellular responses are often coordinated by a genetic regulatory network in which a given transcription factor controls the expression of a diverse set of target genes. Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 and IRF-2 have originally been identified as a transcriptional activator and repressor, respectively, of the interferon-beta (IFN-beta) as well as of IFN-inducible genes. However, these factors have since been shown to modulate not only the cellular response to IFNs, but also cell growth, susceptibility to transformation by oncogenes, induction of apoptosis, and development of the T cell immune response. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that deletion and/or inactivation of the IRF-1 gene may be a critical step in the development of some human hematopoietic neoplasms. Subsequently, these factors have been shown to constitute a family of transcription factors, termed the IRF-family. Recent studies indicate that other IRF family members also involve the regulation of the IFN system and cell transformation. The IRF-family may be examples of transcription factors which can selectively modulate several sets of genes depending on the cell type and/or nature of the cellular stimuli, so as to evoke host defense mechanisms against infection and oncogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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