Interferons are glycoprotein cytokines secreted by host lymphocytes in response to pathogens. Interferons activate or upregulate immune cells by interacting with receptors that activate signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signalling complexes. This ultimately leads to clearance of the pathogen or clearance of tumour cells from the organism.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    The mechanisms by which the cytokine IFN-λ regulates adaptive immune responses are poorly understood. A new study now reveals a novel IFN-λ-mediated signal-transmission system that enhances immunity after infection of the mouse respiratory tract with influenza virus.

    • Stefan F. Wieland
    •  & Markus H. Heim
    Nature Immunology 20, 522-524
  • Research Highlights |

    Two studies show that cancer cells contain sufficient quantities of immunostimulatory nucleic acids to trigger interferon signalling, increase antitumour immunity and overcome resistance to checkpoint blockade. Loss of the RNA-editing enzyme ADAR1 enables tumour cells to sense these innate ligands.

    • M. Teresa Villanueva
  • News and Views |

    The N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA-modification pathway substantially affects the outcome of viral infection. Studies now show that m6A modification of transcripts encoding type I interferons limits the duration of anti-viral signaling.

    • Charles R. Hesser
    •  & Britt A. Glaunsinger
    Nature Immunology 20, 116-118