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

Inhibition of mitochondrial function by interferon.

We showed previously that type I interferon causes a down-regulation of mitochondrial gene expression. We show here that IFN treatment leads to functional impairment of mitochondria. Western blot analysis indicated that interferon treatment reduces the steady-state level of cytochrome b in murine L-929 cells. Interferon produced a reduction in cytochrome c oxidase and NADH-cytochrome c reductase activities of isolated mitochondria as well as inhibiting electron transport in isolated mitochondria and in intact cells. Several mitochondrial mRNAs are affected by interferon treatment in human Daudi lymphoblastoid cells, which are highly sensitive to the antiproliferative effects of interferon. Electron transport in Daudi cells was also inhibited by interferon both in intact cells and isolated mitochondria with a dose response identical to that for the antiproliferative response. In contrast, a Daudi strain resistant to the antiproliferative effects of interferon showed no down-regulation of mRNA expression and no inhibition of electron transport. Possibly as a consequence of the inhibitory effect on mitochondrial gene expression, treatment with interferon causes a reduction in cellular ATP levels. The inhibition of cellular growth by interferon may thus be partly a consequence of a reduction in cellular ATP levels.[1]


  1. Inhibition of mitochondrial function by interferon. Lewis, J.A., Huq, A., Najarro, P. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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