Vaccinia virus encodes a soluble type I interferon receptor of novel structure and broad species specificity

Cell. 1995 May 19;81(4):551-60. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(95)90076-4.


Vaccinia virus (VV) and other orthopoxviruses express a soluble type I interferon (IFN) receptor that for VV strain Western Reserve is encoded by gene B18R. The 60-65 kDa glycoprotein is related to the interleukin-1 receptors and is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, unlike other type I IFN receptors, which belong to the class II cytokine receptor family. The receptor has high affinity (KD, 174 pM) for human IFN alpha and, unlike other type I IFN receptors, has broad species specificity, binding to human, rabbit, bovine, rat, and mouse type I IFNs. This may have aided VV replication in multiple host species during evolution. A VV B18R deletion mutant is attenuated in a murine intranasal model. This type I IFN receptor represents the fourth VV protein that interferes with IFN and the fourth soluble cytokine receptor expressed by poxviruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics*
  • Receptors, Interferon / metabolism
  • Species Specificity
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics*


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Receptors, Interferon

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D11079