Viruses and interferons

Authors
Citation
Gc. Sen, Viruses and interferons, ANN R MICRO, 55, 2001, pp. 255-281
Citations number
110
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
ANNUAL REVIEW OF MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0066-4227 → ACNP
Volume
55
Year of publication
2001
Pages
255 - 281
Database
ISI
SICI code
0066-4227(2001)55:<255:VAI>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
The interferon system is the first line of defense against viral infection in mammals. This system is designed to block the spread of virus infection in the body, sometimes at the expense of accelerating the death of the infe cted cells. As expected of potent cytokines, in addition to their antiviral effects, interferons have profound effects on many aspects of cell physiol ogy. All these actions of interferons are mediated by hundreds of interfero n-induced proteins that are usually not synthesized in resting cells. Inter ferons induce their synthesis by activating the Jak-STAT pathways, a paradi gm of cell signaling used by many cytokines and growth factors. Surprisingl y, some of the same genes can also be induced directly by viruses and doubl e-stranded RNA, a common viral by-product. Some of the interferon-induced p roteins have novel biochemical properties and some are inactive as such but can be activated by double-stranded RNA produced during virus infection. F inally, almost all viruses have evolved mechanisms to evade the interferon system by partially blocking interferon synthesis or interferon action. Thu s, in nature interferons and viruses maintain an equilibrium that allows re gulated viral replication.