Complex modulation of cell type-specific signaling in response to type I interferons

Immunity. 2006 Sep;25(3):361-72. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.08.014.


The type I interferons (IFNs) are pleiotropic cytokines that regulate many different cellular functions. The major signaling pathway activated by type I IFNs involves sequential phosphorylation of the tyrosine residues of the Janus kinase (JAK) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) proteins, providing the primary mechanism through which gene expression is induced. Recent work has shown that the responses are quite complex, as shown by different responses to specific subtypes of type I IFN, activation of kinases in addition to JAKs, patterns of activation of all seven STATs in different cells, and activation of transcription factors other than STATs. The type I IFNs use this complexity to regulate many different biological functions in different types of cells, by activating different specific signals and patterns of gene expression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / enzymology
  • Blood Cells / immunology*
  • Blood Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / metabolism
  • Interferon Type I / physiology*
  • STAT Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • STAT Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Interferon Type I
  • STAT Transcription Factors