Interferon alpha/beta/delta (IPR000471)

Short name: Interferon_alpha/beta/delta

Family relationships


Interferons [PMID: 3022999] are proteins which produce antiviral and antiproliferative responses in cells. On the basis of their sequence interferons are classified into five groups: alpha, alpha-II (or omega), beta, delta (or trophoblast) and gamma. Proteins in this entry are different from the interferon gamma family. The sequence differences may possibly cause different responses to various inducers, or result in the recognition of different target cell types [PMID: 6170983]. All function as regulators of cellular activty by interacting with cell-surface receptors and activating various signalling pathways. Interferons produce antiviral and antiproliferative responses in cells. Receptor specificity determines function of the various members of the family [PMID: 10547147]. The main conserved structural feature of interferons is a disulphide bond that, except in mouse beta interferon, occurs in all alpha, beta and omega sequences.

Type I interferons (alpha, beta) belong to the larger helical cytokine superfamily, which includes growth hormones, interleukins, several colony-stimulating factors and several other regulatory molecules. This entry also includes also interferon omega and tau.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006952 defense response

Molecular Function

GO:0005126 cytokine receptor binding

Cellular Component

GO:0005576 extracellular region

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.
PROSITE patterns