Defining the distinct, intrinsic properties of the novel type I interferon, epsilon

Journal: Journal of Biological Chemistry

Published: 2017-11-29

DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m117.800755

Affiliations: 8

Authors: 17

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Research Highlight

Interferon epsilon from mice has human effects

©KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

©KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Interferons are important immune molecules which are usually species specific, but researchers have discovered a new class of interferon with cross-species activity which will be useful in lab studies of human disease.

Researchers at Deakin University investigated the structure and function of a recently identified interferon, IFNε, found in the female reproductive tract. The team produced mouse IFNε in cell cultures and measured its ability to bind to interferon receptors and activate the interferon response.

IFNε bound to the interferon receptors IFNAR1 and IFNAR2, but unlike other interferons, it bound more strongly to IFNAR1. IFNε also activated the interferon response pathway and had antiviral, antibacterial, and antiproliferative effects, though its overall activity was weaker than other interferons. Surprisingly, mouse IFNε also had antiviral activity in human cells.

In addition to clarifying the activity of IFNε, these findings demonstrate its value as a tool for humanized mouse models of disease.

Supported content

  1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 293, 3168-3179 (2017). doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.800755
Institutions FC
Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases (CiiiD), Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia 0.24
Department of Molecular Translational Science (Hudson Institute), Monash University, Australia 0.24
School of Medicine (SoM), Deakin University, Australia 0.20
CSIRO Manufacturing, Australia 0.12
CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Australia 0.08
Department of Biochemistry and Genetics, La Trobe University, Australia 0.06
Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Australia 0.06
Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia 0.02

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