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Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3(4), 795-809; doi:10.3390/ph3040795

Lambda Interferons: New Cytokines with Old Functions

1 Centre for Structural Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark 2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Curent address: Flavivirus-Host Molecular Interactions, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2010 / Revised: 24 March 2010 / Accepted: 24 March 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interferons)
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Interferon lambda (IFN-λ) is a member of the class II cytokine family, and like the other members of this family, they are small helical proteins. Since their discovery significant efforts have been made to determine their role in innate and adaptive immunity. Their strong antiviral activity, both in vitro and in vivo, has firmly established their interferon status. However, in contrast to type I interferon, only a very limited subset of cells/tissues responds to interferon lambda. In addition to inducing an antiviral state in responsive cells, recent data suggest that IFN-l plays a role in shaping the adaptive immune response. However, the data is not in complete agreement regarding the effect of IFN-λ on the adaptive immune system. Recently IFN-l has entered clinical trials against hepatitis C Virus and IFN-l is a promising future therapeutic, against different viruses replicating in responsive tissues, like that of the airway epithelia. In this review we describe the knowledge acquired during the past six years about the structure and function of interferon lambda.
Keywords: Interferon; structure; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; antiviral activity; ISGF3; IFN-λR1 Interferon; structure; innate immunity; adaptive immunity; antiviral activity; ISGF3; IFN-λR1
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hamming, O.J.; Gad, H.H.; Paludan, S.; Hartmann, R. Lambda Interferons: New Cytokines with Old Functions. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 795-809.

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