Breathing life into the antiviral response

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Science  08 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6295, pp. 134-135
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6295.134-e

Fighting viruses requires a coordinated attack. Immune cells known as plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) lie at the heart of the response and, among other functions, secrete large amounts of antiviral proteins called type I interferons (IFNs) that alert the body that it is under attack. Wu et al. report that in addition to eliciting expression of a suite of antiviral genes, type I IFNs also cause cells to modify their metabolism. Type I IFNs signal cells to shift their metabolism toward fatty acid oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation, both in pDCs and in other cell types such as T cells and epithelial cells. Antiviral functions of pDCs required these metabolic changes, and viral clearance in mice required fatty acid oxidation.

Immunity 44, 1325 (2016).

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