Direct effects of type I interferons on cells of the immune system
Cells/drug effects
Immune System/drug effects
Interferon Type I/pharmacology
Issue Date: 
American Association for Cancer Research
Hervas-Stubbs S, Perez-Gracia JL, Rouzaut A, Sanmamed MF, Le Bon A, Melero I. Direct effects of type I interferons on cells of the immune system. Clin Cancer Res 2011 May 1;17(9):2619-2627.
Type I interferons (IFN-I) are well-known inducers of tumor cell apoptosis and antiangiogenesis via signaling through a common receptor interferon alpha receptor (IFNAR). IFNAR induces the Janus activated kinase-signal transducer and activation of transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway in most cells, along with other biochemical pathways that may differentially operate, depending on the responding cell subset, and jointly control a large collection of genes. IFNs-I were found to systemically activate natural killer (NK) cell activity. Recently, mouse experiments have shown that IFNs-I directly activate other cells of the immune system, such as antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC) and CD4 and CD8 T cells. Signaling through the IFNAR in T cells is critical for the acquisition of effector functions. Cross-talk between IFNAR and the pathways turned on by other surface lymphocyte receptors has been described. Importantly, IFNs-I also increase antigen presentation of the tumor cells to be recognized by T lymphocytes. These IFN-driven immunostimulatory pathways offer opportunities to devise combinatorial immunotherapy strategies.

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