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Interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines in the establishment of a multifaceted antiviral response. Three distinct types of IFNs are now recognized (type I, type II, and type III) based on their receptor usage, structural features and biological activities. Although all IFNs are important mediators of antiviral protection, their roles in antiviral defence vary. Interferon lambda (IFN-λ) is a recently discovered group of small helical cytokines capable of inducing an antiviral response both in vitro as well as in vivo. They were discovered independently in 2003 by the groups of Sheppard and Kotenko. This family consists of three structurally related IFN-λ subtypes called IFN-λ1 (IL-29), IFN-λ2 (IL-28A), and IFN-λ3 (IL-28B). In this study we investigate the antiviral activities of IFN-λ1, λ2, and λ3 on some medically important viruses, influenza viruses, herpes viruses and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.


K Lopušná, I Režuchová, T Betáková, L Skovranová, J Tomašková, L Lukáčiková, P Kabát. Interferons lambda, new cytokines with antiviral activity. Acta virologica. 2013;57(2):171-9

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PMID: 23600875

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