Difference between Type I and Type II Interferons (INF Alpha/Beta vs INF Gamma)

Difference between INF alpha beta and gamma

Type I Interferons vs Type II Interferons
(Similarities and Differences between Type I and Type II Interferons)

Interferons or INFs are glycoproteins with indirect antiviral properties. They are cytokines whose production in the cell is induced by viral infections. Interferons stimulate the synthesis of antiviral proteins in the cells which inhibit the multiplication of viral particles.  

Learn more: Interferons: Definition, Properties, Antiviral Properties and Clinical Uses

Interferons are classified into TWO categories based on their type of Receptors. They are Type I Interferons (INFα and INFβ) and Type II Interferons (INFγ). The present post describes the Similarities and Differences between Type I and Type II interferons.

Similarities between Type I and Type II Interferons

Ø  Both type I and type II interferons are short glyco-proteins.

Ø  Both possess indirect antiviral properties.

Ø  The production of both types of interferons is triggered by viral infections.

Ø  Both can elicit immunological responses in the organ.

Ø  Both types operate through receptors present on the plasma membrane.

Ø  Both can trigger the production of antiviral proteins.

Difference between Type I and Type II Interferons

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Interferons (INF): Definition, Antiviral Properties, Functions, Classification and Clinical Significance

Functions Interferon

(INF: Definition, Antiviral Properties, Classification and Clinical Significance)

Interferons are Glycoproteins with Antiviral Properties

Interferons or INFs are low molecular weight glyco-proteins produced by certain eukaryotic cells in response to viral infections. They are cytokines with indirect or non-specific antiviral activities. Interferons stimulate the production of antiviral proteins in the cells which inhibit the synthesis of viral RNA and proteins. Interferons cannot directly inhibit the viral entry into the host cell. However, they can inhibit the replication of viral gene and the assembly of viral particles and thereby they limit the viral infection.

Interferons also regulate the growth, differentiation and functions of different types of immune cells in animals. Several classes of interferons are recognized in eukaryotes such as INFα, INFβ and INFγ. INFα and INFβ are produced by virus infected fibroblasts. Virus infected leukocytes, antigen stimulated T cells and natural killer cells can produce INFγ.

Interferon Production is Triggered by Viral Infection

The synthesis and release of interferons form a cell is induced by the viral particles. The intact viral particles and even the presence of double stranded viral RNA (dsRNA) in the cell can evoke the production of interferons. Specific interferons are recognized by receptors present on the plasma membrane. Once a cell receives the stimuli, the interferon proteins are synthesized and they are released out of the cell. Since they are secreted to the exterior of the cells, they can bind to its plasma membrane receptors. The secreted interferon molecules then bound to the ganglioside receptors on the plasma membrane of another cell (nearby or located far away from the secretion).

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