Inhibition of interferon induction and signaling by paramyxoviruses

Immunol Rev. 2008 Oct;225:46-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065X.2008.00669.x.


The family Paramyxoviridae comprises a diverse group of viruses that includes several important human and veterinary pathogens. Members of this family have a non-segmented, single-stranded, negative sense RNA genome, a conserved gene order, and a similar replication strategy. Paramyxoviruses are divided into two subfamilies, Paramyxovirinae and Pneumovirinae, which comprise five genera and two genera, respectively. Viruses in each genus have developed strategies to circumvent the interferon (IFN) response by using a diverse array of proteins that are encoded within the phosphoprotein genes of the Paramyxovirinae or non-structural genes of the Pneumovirinae. This review focuses on the specific roles that these viral proteins play in the inhibition of IFN signaling and, to a lesser extent, on the mechanisms by which these proteins inhibit the induction pathways of IFN. An improved understanding of the interactions between viral proteins and the host innate immune response is critical to achieving a thorough comprehension of the pathogenesis of this important group of viruses. Hopefully this knowledge will support the development of more targeted vaccines and therapeutics to better prevent and control viral infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • Interferons / immunology
  • Interferons / metabolism*
  • Paramyxoviridae / genetics
  • Paramyxoviridae / pathogenicity
  • Paramyxoviridae / physiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / virology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Viral Proteins / immunology
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Viral Proteins
  • Interferons