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IFN-alpha and IFN-beta

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Summary

Interferons alpha and beta (IFN-α / IFN-β), also known as type 1 interferons,, are important cytokines in the antiviral immune response. IFN-alpha and beta are released by virally-infected cells and act to slow viral replication by blocking viral protein synthesis.

Key Points

  • Interferons alpha and beta (IFN-alpha / IFN-beta)
    • Also known as type 1 interferons
    • Produced by leukocytes and virally-infected cells
    • Slows viral replication by halting protein synthesis
      • Degrades mRNA in virally-infected cells
      • Type 1 interferons may be used as treatment in viral infections (e.g. hepatitis C)