Interferons as regulators of the innate defense of the host.

Prof. Dr. Rainer Zawatzky

Interferons (IFN) are integral parts of the host’s innate defense system and the panoply of their biological actions are mediated by >300 IFN-responsive genes. These genes are involved in virus-resistance, growth inhibition, induction of apoptosis and activation or modulation of local immune responses. In addition, some physiological processes maintaining tissue homeostasis are also influenced by IFN.
Research in our department actually focusses on the characterization of IFN-induced genes of so far unknown biological properties. One of such IFN-dependent genes is called ifrg28. Its structure and intracellular localisation suggests a role in trafficking of other proteins. We have generated a couple of molecular and biochemical tools for functional studies and initiated a project to identify interaction partners that will help to define its physiological role in the context of viral challenges to host cells.

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