Title: Interferon
Additional Names: IFN
Literature References: A family of species-specific vertebrate proteins that confer non-specific resistance to a broad range of viral infections, affect cell proliferation and modulate immune responses. Discovered by A. Isaacs and J. Lindenmann, Proc. Roy. Soc. B147, 258 (1957) while studying viral interference. Originally produced by the interaction of inactivated influenza virus with chick chorioallantoic membranes; subsequently found to be inducible by viable virus in a variety of cells: D. C. Burke, A. Isaacs, Br. J. Exp. Pathol. 39, 452 (1958); in human leukocytes: I. Gresser, Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 108, 799 (1961). Host cell specificity and physical properties: D. A. J. Tyrrell, Nature 184, 452 (1959); T. C. Merigan, Science 145, 811 (1964). Production of acid-labile interferon by mitogen-stimulated human leukocytes: E. F. Wheelock, ibid. 149, 310 (1966). Three major interferons, alpha, beta and gamma, q.q.v., have been identified based on antigenic and physicochemical properties, the nature of the inducer, and the cellular source from which they are derived, cf. Nature 286, 110 (1980). Known collectively as type I interferon, IFNs-a and -b are structurally related, are stable at pH 2, and compete for the same cell surface receptor. IFN-g, also known as type II interferon, is structurally unrelated to type I IFNs, is acid labile, and has a different receptor. Receptor binding study: A. A. Branca, C. Baglioni, Nature 294, 768 (1981). Reviews: S. Baron, F. Dianzoni, Eds., Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. 35, 1-573 (1977); Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 350, entitled "Regulatory Function of Interferons", J. Vilcek et al., Eds. (1980) 643 pp; S. Baron et al., Eds., Tex. Rep. Biol. Med. 41, 1-715 (1982). Review of immunobiology and clinical significance: E. R. Stiem et al., Ann. Intern. Med. 96, 80-93 (1982); of pharmacology and toxicology: G. J. Mannering, L. B. Deloria, Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 26, 455-515 (1986); of IFN-gene family: C. Weissmann, H. Weber, Prog. Nucleic Acid Res. Mol. Biol. 33, 251-300 (1986). Symposium on antiviral activity of natural and recombinant IFNs: Antiviral Res. 5, Suppl. 1, 131-257 (1985). Review of structure, function and nomenclature: K. C. Zoon, Interferon 9, 1-12 (1987). Books: Interferons and Interferon Inducers, N. Finter, Ed. (North Holland Publ. Co., Amsterdam, 1973) 598 pp; W. E. Stewart, The Interferon System (Springer, New York, 1979) 421 pp; Interferons, T. C. Merigan, R. M. Friedman, Eds. (Academic Press, New York, 1982) 481 pp; Interferon, K. Munk, H. Kirchner, Eds. (S. Karger, New York, 1982) 233 pp; H. Strander, Interferon Treatment of Human Neoplasia (Academic Press, New York, 1986) 265 pp.

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