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Potential role of interferon-lambda in the treatment of inflammation and cancer: an update

Authors Dornhoff H, Siebler J, Neurath M

Published 1 July 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 51—57

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJICMR.S15249

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Heike Dornhoff, Jürgen Siebler, Markus F Neurath
Department of Medicine, University of Nuremberg-Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany

Abstract: The interferon (IFN) family comprises various cytokines with potent responses against RNA and DNA viruses as well as antitumor activities. A recently identified interferon subgroup consists of the so-called lambda interferons with several members, including IFN-λ1, IFN-λ2, and IFN-λ3 (also denoted interleukin [IL]-29, IL28-A, and IL28-B). They represent a newly identified group of the class II cytokine family. While they are functionally related to type I IFNs, they are structurally related to the IL-10 cytokine family. The lambda IFNs signal through a cytokine receptor complex which is unique for IL-28 and IL-29, designated IL-28Rα, and a second chain, the IL-10R2, which is shared with receptors for IL-10 related cytokines such as IL-22 and IL-10. In this review, we summarize recent findings about the relationship between type I and type III IFN signaling as well as their antiviral and antitumor activity. A better understanding of the functional role of IFN-λ in viral infections and immune responses in innate and adaptive immunity opens new therapeutical approaches for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Keywords: interferon, interleukin-28, cancer, viral infections, antiviral, antitumor, immunity

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