Review of recent developments in the molecular characterization of recombinant alfa interferons on the 40th anniversary of the discovery of interferon

Academic Article


  • Recombinant alfa interferons (IFN-αs) are approved worldwide for the treatment of a variety of cancers and diseases of virologic origin. A series of recent advances in the molecular characterization of recombinant IFN-αs have allowed the determination of the three-dimensional IFN-α(2b) structure by high-resolution x-ray crystallography. We review here recent developments in our understanding of the molecular and physicochemical properties of recombinant IFN-α, including our current state of knowledge of the IFN-α gene family and the multiple species of human leukocyte IFN. Based on the reported three-dimensional structure of IFN-α(2b) we propose a molecular model for the IFN-α(2b) receptor complex and predict models for the naturally occurring subtypes IFN-α1 and lFN-α8, as well as the synthetic, non-naturally occurring consensus IFN. Such models provide molecular insights into the mechanism of action of IFN-α.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walter MR; Bordens R; Nagabhushan TL; Williams BRG; Herberman RB; Dinarello CA; Borden EC; Trotta PP; Pestka S; Pfeffer LM
  • Start Page

  • 143
  • End Page

  • 154
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 3