Interferons (IFNs) are an important part of immune responses and are believed to protect the host from viral and bacterial pathogens as well as having a role in rejection of malignancies. The well-known anti-viral and cytostatic properties of IFNs have led to the clinical use of these proteins to treat some cancers and viral infections. Extensive research has begun to unravel much of the molecular basis for the biological effects of IFNs, and this information could now be used as a foundation for the development of novel therapeutic strategies that avoid some of the acknowledged shortcomings of cytokine therapies. This review explains the current model of IFN action, during viral infections and the potential for well-established and emerging groups of IFN inducible genes as therapeutic targets is highlighted.
Keywords: Interferons (IFNs), Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), IFNa receptor 1 (IFNAR1), Anti-Viral Agents, Protein Kinase R, GTPase MxA, Cyclin Dependent Kinase Inhibitors, HIN-200 Family, APOPTOSIS, IMMUNOREGULATION, Oligoadenylate synthase