Interferon regulatory factors: at the crossroads of immunity, metabolism, and disease

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Feb;1852(2):365-78. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2014.04.030. Epub 2014 May 5.


The interferon-regulatory factor (IRF) family comprises nine members in mammals. Although this transcription factor family was originally thought to function primarily in the immune system, contributing to both the innate immune response and the development of immune cells, recent advances have revealed that IRFs plays critical roles in other biological processes, such as metabolism. Accordingly, abnormalities in the expression and/or function of IRFs have increasingly been linked to disease. Herein, we provide an update on the recent progress regarding the regulation of immune responses and immune cell development associated with IRFs. Additionally, we discuss the relationships between IRFs and immunity, metabolism, and disease, with a particular focus on the role of IRFs as stress sensors. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Autophagy and protein quality control in cardiometabolic diseases.

Keywords: Disease; IRFs; Immunity; Metabolism; Stress sensor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease*
  • Humans
  • Immunity*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / metabolism*
  • Metabolism*
  • Models, Biological


  • Interferon Regulatory Factors