The IRF family, revisited

Biochimie. Jun-Jul 2007;89(6-7):744-53. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2007.01.014. Epub 2007 Feb 20.


Since the discovery of interferon 50 years ago a great deal of progress has been made in understanding how interferons work and how and why they are induced. Key factors in interferon induction are the interferon regulatory factors (IRF). In this review of IRF we aim to show you not only the historical side of the IRF but also the integral, anti-viral and hematopoetic roles of these transcription factors, as well as the sometimes surprising and even forgotten roles that these proteins play, not only in interferon signaling but throughout the immune system and the body as a whole. Further research will no doubt expand the repertoire of these multifunctional proteins even more.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / metabolism
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / physiology*
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Interferons / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Response Elements
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / chemistry


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Viral Proteins
  • Interferons