Involvement of the IRF-1 transcription factor in antiviral responses to interferons

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Science  24 Jun 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5167, pp. 1921-1924
DOI: 10.1126/science.8009222


The mechanisms underlying interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral states are not well understood. Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) is an IFN-inducible transcriptional activator, whereas IRF-2 suppresses IRF-1 action. The inhibition of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) replication by IFN-alpha and especially by IFN-gamma was impaired in cells from mice with a null mutation in the IRF-1 gene (IRF-1-/- mice). The IRF-1-/- mice were less resistant than normal mice to EMCV infection, as revealed by accelerated mortality and a larger virus titer in target organs. The absence of IRF-1 did not clearly affect replication of two other types of viruses. Thus, IRF-1 is necessary for the antiviral action of IFNs against some viruses, but IFNs activate multiple activation pathways through diverse target genes to induce the antiviral state.

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