Identification and characterization of viral antagonists of type I interferon in negative-strand RNA viruses

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2004;283:249-80. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-06099-5_7.


Interferons are cytokines secreted in response to viral infections with potent antiviral activity, and they represent a critical component of the innate immune response against viruses. It has now become apparent that many viruses have evolved different mechanisms to counteract the interferon response, allowing their efficient replication and propagation in their hosts. This review discusses how the development of reverse genetics techniques and the increase in our knowledge of the interferon response have led to the discovery of interferon-antagonistic functions of different genes of viruses belonging to the negative-strand RNA virus group. In many cases, these viral genes encode accessory pro- teins that are not required for viral infectivity but are critical for optimal replication and for virulence in the host.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interferon Type I / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Mutation
  • RNA Virus Infections / immunology
  • RNA Virus Infections / virology
  • RNA Viruses / metabolism
  • RNA Viruses / pathogenicity*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / analysis
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / physiology
  • Viral Proteins / analysis
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Proteins / physiology*
  • Virulence
  • Virus Replication


  • INS1 protein, influenza virus
  • Interferon Type I
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Viral Proteins