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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Multiple regulatory domains control IRF-7 activity in response to virus infection.

Recent studies implicate the interferon regulatory factors (IRF), IRF-3 and IRF-7, as key activators of Type 1 interferon genes, as well as the RANTES (regulated on activation normal T cell expressed) chemokine gene. Both IRF-3 and IRF-7 are regulated in part by virus-induced C-terminal phosphorylation, leading to nuclear translocation, stimulation of DNA binding, and transcriptional activities. Structure-function studies with IRF-7 suggested a complex organization of the C-terminal region, with a constitutive activation domain located between amino acids 150-246, an accessory inducibility region at the very end of IRF-7 between amino acids 467 and 503, and an inhibitory region (amino acids 341-467) adjacent to the C-terminal end that interferes with transactivation. Furthermore, an element that increases basal and virus-inducible activity is located between amino acids 278 and 305. A transcriptionally active form of IRF-7 was also generated by substitution of Ser-477 and Ser-479 residues with the phosphomimetic Asp. IRF-7, particularly IRF-7(S477D/S479D), was a strong transactivator of type I interferon and RANTES chemokine gene expression. Unlike wild type IRF-3, IRF-7 overexpression was able to stimulate inteferon gene expression in the absence of virus infection. Using tagged versions of IRF-7 and IRF-3, the formation of homo- and heterodimers was detected by co-immunoprecipitation. These results demonstrate that IRF-3 and IRF-7 transcription factors possess distinct structural characteristics that impart complementary rather than redundant functional roles in cytokine gene activation.[1]


  1. Multiple regulatory domains control IRF-7 activity in response to virus infection. Lin, R., Mamane, Y., Hiscott, J. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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