Genetic breakthrough supercharges immunity to flu and other viruses

From: Eurekalert: Genetic breakthrough supercharges immunity to flu and other viruses:

Viruses are sub-microscopic infectious agents which can reproduce only by hijacking a cell’s reproductive machinery, a process that usually leads to disease and even the death of the host organism. Interferon, in particular the type 1 interferons (IFN-? and IFN-?) suppress virus propagation. Production of type 1 interferon is controlled by the interferon regulatory protein 7 (Irf7), which researchers believe to be the “master-regulator” of interferon production in the body. The McGill researchers found that protein synthesis of Irf7 is controlled by the repressor genes called 4E-BP1 and 4E-BP2. “In a sense, it’s quite a simple story,” Dr. Costa-Mattioli explained. “When you get rid of the repressors, you have more of the key protein Irf7 present, which induces an anti-viral state in the cell. You’re basically removing the brakes.”

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