Journal article Open Access

Mini ReviewHuman Interferons Alpha, Beta and Omega

Bekisz, Joseph; Schmeisser, Hana; Hernandez, Jessica; Goldman, Neil D.; Zoon, Kathryn C.

Type I interferons (IFNs), IFN-α, IFN-β, IFN-ω, IFN-δ and IFN-τ are a family of structurally related, species-specific proteins found only in vertebrates. They exhibit a variety of biological functions, including antiviral, antiproliferative, immunomodulatory and developmental activities. Human Type I IFNs interact with the human IFN alpha receptor (IFNAR), which is composed of two identified subunits (IFNAR-1 and IFNAR-2). The interaction of IFN-α/β with its receptor components results in the activation of a number of signaling pathways. The regulation of specific genes and proteins contributes to the numerous biological functions of Type I IFNs.

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