Intracellular interferons in fish: a unique means to combat viral infection

Ming-Xian Chang, Jun Zou, Pin Nie, Bei Huang, Zhanglong Yu, Bertrand Collet, Chris J Secombes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
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We demonstrate for the first time in vertebrates, that alternative splicing of interferon (IFN) genes can lead to a functional intracellular IFN (iIFN). Fish IFN genes possess introns and in rainbow trout three alternatively spliced transcripts of the IFN1 gene exist. Two of the encoded IFNs are predicted to lack a signal peptide. When overexpressed these iIFNs induce antiviral responses. Variants of the two IFNR receptor chains (IFNAR1 and IFNAR2) lacking a signal peptide are also present in trout. Transfection of HEK 293T cells with the iIFN and iIFNR molecules results in STAT phosphorylation and induction of antiviral genes. These results show that fish possess a functioning iIFN system that may act as a novel defence to combat viral infection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003736
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number11
Early online date14 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2013


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