Interferon signalling network in innate defence

Cell Microbiol. 2006 Jun;8(6):907-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2006.00716.x.


Interferons (IFNs) elicit multifaceted effects in host innate defence. Accumulating evidence revealed that not only the first identified Jak-Stat pathway but also other newly found signalling pathways are required for the induction of versatile responses by IFNs. In particular, type I IFNs are inducible by viral infection through the recognition of pathogen-associated molecules by pattern recognition receptors, and the induction of multiple IFN-stimulated genes through the activation of type I IFN signalling confers antiviral and immunomodulatory activities. Any step in this process is often targeted by viruses for their immuno-evasion. The regulatory function of constitutive IFN-alpha/beta signalling has been recognized in terms of its boosting effect on cellular responsiveness in host defence systems. Further comprehensive understanding of IFN signalling may offer a better direction to unravelling the complex signalling networks in the host defence system, and may contribute to their more effective therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Interferon Type I / immunology
  • Interferon Type I / physiology*
  • Interferon-alpha / genetics
  • Interferon-alpha / immunology
  • Interferon-alpha / physiology
  • Interferon-beta / genetics
  • Interferon-beta / immunology
  • Interferon-beta / physiology
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae / immunology
  • Receptors, Interferon / immunology
  • Receptors, Interferon / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / physiopathology


  • Interferon Type I
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon-gamma