Role of the interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) in virus-mediated signaling and regulation of cell growth

Biochimie. Aug-Sep 1998;80(8-9):651-8. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9084(99)80018-2.


As a response to viral infection, cells express the early inflammatory genes that encode small proteins generally called cytokines or chemokines. These protein can activate immune responses to viral infection as well as to modulate directly the outcome of viral infection. The group of proteins with the direct antiviral effects have been called interferons. The stimulation of interferon synthesis in infected cells is regulated on a transcriptional level and two families of cellular transcriptional factors seem to play a critical role in the transcriptional activation of interferon genes. The first one are the proteins of NF-kappaB family and the second is the family of the interferon responsive factors. While both of the types of the transcriptional factors are important for the induction of interferon beta gene, the NF-kappaB factor do not seems to participate in the induction of interferon alpha genes. The present review is focused on the recently identified new members of cellular IRF family and their role in virus mediated response, responses and cell growth. In addition the HHV-8 encoded vIRFs are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Herpesvirus 8, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factor-1
  • Interferons
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • IRF1 protein, human
  • Interferon Regulatory Factor-1
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Interferons