Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 18 (5-6), 425-33

Interferon, Mx, and Viral Countermeasures


Interferon, Mx, and Viral Countermeasures

Otto Haller et al. Cytokine Growth Factor Rev.


The interferon system provides a powerful and universal intracellular defense mechanism against viruses. Knockout mice defective in IFN signaling quickly succumb to all kinds of viral infections. Likewise, humans with genetic defects in interferon signaling die of viral disease at an early age. Among the known interferon-induced antiviral mechanisms, the Mx pathway is one of the most powerful. Mx proteins belong to the dynamin superfamily of large GTPases and have direct antiviral activity. They inhibit a wide range of viruses by blocking an early stage of the viral replication cycle. Likewise, the protein kinase R (PKR), and the 2-5 OAS/RNaseL system represent major antiviral pathways and have been extensively studied. Viruses, in turn, have evolved multiple strategies to escape the IFN system. They try to go undetected, suppress IFN synthesis, bind and neutralize secreted IFN molecules, block IFN signaling, or inhibit the action of IFN-induced antiviral proteins. Here, we summarize recent findings about the astonishing interplay of viruses with the IFN response pathway.

Similar articles

  • Interferon-induced Mx Proteins in Antiviral Host Defense
    O Haller et al. Biochimie 89 (6-7), 812-8. PMID 17570575. - Review
    Mx proteins are key components of the antiviral state induced by interferons in many species. They belong to the class of dynamin-like large guanosine triphosphatases (GT …
  • The Interferon Response Circuit in Antiviral Host Defense
    O Haller et al. Verh K Acad Geneeskd Belg 71 (1-2), 73-86. PMID 19739399. - Review
    Viruses have learned to multiply in the face of a powerful innate and adaptive immune response of the host. They have evolved multiple strategies to evade the interferon …
  • [Interferon : Antiviral Mechanisms and Viral Escape]
    L Espert et al. Bull Cancer 90 (2), 131-41. PMID 12660132. - Review
    15 % of human cancers have virus origin, meaning that viruses are the second cause of cancers after tabagism. The knowledge of antiviral mechanisms is essential for treat …
  • Viral Suppression of the Interferon System
    F Weber et al. Biochimie 89 (6-7), 836-42. PMID 17336442. - Review
    Type I interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) were originally discovered by their strong and direct antiviral activity [A. Isaacs, J. Lindenmann, Virus interference. I. The interfe …
  • The Interferon Response Circuit: Induction and Suppression by Pathogenic Viruses
    O Haller et al. Virology 344 (1), 119-30. PMID 16364743. - Review
    Type I interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) are potent antiviral cytokines and modulators of the adaptive immune system. They are induced by viral infection or by double-stranded …
See all similar articles

Cited by 49 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources