IFNs protect us against infection from viral pathogens, but can also induce damaging inflammation and are associated with the development of autoimmune conditions. By dissecting the response that is mediated by different IFN-regulated genes, we hoped to identify targets that will enable us to preserve the defense against pathogens while minimizing immune disease. Toward this, several reports have identified that variability in the gene that encodes the melanoma differentiation-associated protein (MDA)-5 and other molecules in this pathway correlated with the risk of autoimmune diseases. The evidence for MDA5 activity as a cause of autoimmune disease is discussed.
- antiviral response
- signaling pathways