Interferon type III

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The recently classified type III interferon group consists of three IFN-λ (lambda) molecules called IFN-λ1, IFN-λ2 and IFN-λ3 (also called IL29, IL28A and IL28B respectively).[1] These IFNs signal through a receptor complex consisting of IL10R2 (also called CRF2-4) and IL28RA (also called IFNLR1, CRF2-12).[2] Recently, a new protein with a similar function related to IFN-λ3 was found around the same genomic locus and was designated IFN-λ4. Its intracellular signaling was through IFNLR1 and therefore thought to be a type III interferon. However, the evidence of its in vivo bioactivity is still debatable.[3]

Acceptance of this classification is less universal than that of type I and type II, and unlike the other two, it is not currently included in Medical Subject Headings.


  1. ^ Vilcek J (January 2003). "Novel interferons". Nat. Immunol. 4 (1): 8–9. doi:10.1038/ni0103-8. PMID 12496969.
  2. ^ Bartlett NW, Buttigieg K, Kotenko SV, Smith GL (June 2005). "Murine interferon lambdas (type III interferons) exhibit potent antiviral activity in vivo in a poxvirus infection model". J. Gen. Virol. 86 (Pt 6): 1589–96. doi:10.1099/vir.0.80904-0. PMID 15914836.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Lu, YF; Goldstein, DB; Urban, TJ; Bradrick, SS (February 2015). "Interferon-λ4 is a cell-autonomous type III interferon associated with pre-treatment hepatitis C virus burden". Virology. 476: 334–40. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2014.12.020. PMC 4494652. PMID 25577150.