New Interferons

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New interferons (IFNs) include members of the type I IFN family, such as IFN epsilon (IFNε), IFN tau, IFN omega, and IFN kappa, as well as the type III IFN family, also known as the IFN lambdas. By comparison the classical or 'old' IFNs comprise the 14 subtypes of IFN alpha and IFN beta, which are all members of the type I IFN family, as well as type II IFN gamma. In this article, we examine the new IFNs and specifically discuss their discovery, comparative structures, functions in physiology and disease, the signaling pathways they initiate, and their regulatory controls. We highlight IFNε that was discovered in our laboratory and characterized for its role in protecting the female reproductive tract from infections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Immunobiology
Subtitle of host publicationMolecular Immunology
EditorsMichael J.H. Radcliffe
Place of PublicationOxford UK
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-08-092152-5
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-374279-7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016


  • Interferon
  • Interferon signaling pathways
  • Interferon α
  • Interferon β
  • Interferon Κ
  • Interferon λ
  • Interferon τ
  • Interferon ω
  • Type I interferon
  • Type II interferon
  • Type III interferon

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