Avian Interferons and Their Antiviral Effectors

Santhakumar, Diwakar and Rubbenstroth, Dennis and Martinez-Sobrido, Luis and Munir, Muhammad (2017) Avian Interferons and Their Antiviral Effectors. Frontiers in Immunology, 8. ISSN 1664-3224

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Interferon (IFN) responses, mediated by a myriad of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), are the most profound innate immune responses against viruses. Cumulatively, these IFN effectors establish a multilayered antiviral state to safeguard the host against invading viral pathogens. Considerable genetic and functional characterizations of mammalian IFNs and their effectors have been made, and our understanding on the avian IFNs has started to expand. Similar to mammalian counterparts, three types of IFNs have been genetically characterized in most avian species with available annotated genomes. Intriguingly, chickens are capable of mounting potent innate immune responses upon various stimuli in the absence of essential components of IFN pathways including retinoic acid-inducible gene I, IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), and possibility IRF9. Understanding these unique properties of the chicken IFN system would propose valuable targets for the development of potential therapeutics for a broader range of viruses of both veterinary and zoonotic importance. This review outlines recent developments in the roles of avian IFNs and ISGs against viruses and highlights important areas of research toward our understanding of the antiviral functions of IFN effectors against viral infections in birds.

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Journal Article
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Frontiers in Immunology
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23 Mar 2018 10:00
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:10