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FEBS Lett. 1998 Dec 11;441(1):106-10.

Positive feedback regulation of type I IFN genes by the IFN-inducible transcription factor IRF-7.

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Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The interferon regulatory factor (IRF) family of transcription factors regulate the interferon (IFN) system, among which IRF-3 is involved in the virus-induced IFN-beta gene expression. Here we show that another member IRF-7 is critical for the IFN-alpha gene induction. Unlike the IRF-3 gene, the IRF-7 gene is induced by IFNs through activation of the ISGF3 transcription factor, and IRF-7 undergoes virus-induced nuclear translocation. In cells lacking p48, an essential component of IFN stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3), ectopic expression of IRF-7 but not IRF-3 can rescue the deficiency to induce IFN-alpha genes. These results indicate that IRF-7 is a key factor in the positive feedback regulation of IFN-alpha/beta production.

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