Interferons are cytokines that have antiviral, antiproliferative and immunomodulatory effects. Because of these important properties, in the past two decades, major research efforts have been undertaken to understand the signalling mechanisms through which these cytokines induce their effects. Since the original discovery of the classical JAK (Janus activated kinase)-STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) pathway of signalling, it has become clear that the coordination and cooperation of multiple distinct signalling cascades - including the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 cascade and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase cascade - are required for the generation of responses to interferons. It is anticipated that an increased understanding of the contributions of these recently identified pathways will advance our current thinking about how interferons work.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy