Research Topic

Structures, Signaling Mechanisms, and Functions of Types I and III Interferons

About this Research Topic

Types I and III interferons (IFN-I and IFN-III, respectively) have been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution as primary mediators of cellular defense against pathogens. The past decade has uncovered fundamental structural, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms that regulate IFN-mediated host protection. Highlighting the complexity of the IFN system, humans encode sixteen IFN-Is and four IFN-IIIs, which bind to the IFNAR1/IFNAR2 and IFNLR1/IL10R2 receptor complexes, respectively. The specific roles of each IFN in initiating, sustaining, and tailoring an immune response to various pathogens is currently an area of intense investigation.

Questions investigated in this Research Topic will include the overlapping functions of IFN-Is and IFN-IIIs in the activation of canonical and non-canonical IFN-signaling pathways. Finally, given the evolutionary divergence between primate and rodent IFNs, what are the limitations of rodent models for characterizing human IFN-Is and IFN-IIIs? The goal of this Research Topic is to gather review articles covering the key aspects of IFN signaling outlined below to move the field into the next decade of IFN research:

1. Structures of types I and III IFNs and their receptors
2. Binding of IFN-I and IFN-III to their receptors and assembly of IFN-receptor complexes
3. Effects of IFN receptor internalization and trafficking on functional outcomes of IFN signaling
4. Canonical and non-canonical IFN signaling pathways
5. Interferon response genes (IRG), their functions and patterns of expression
6. Differential functions and signaling by human IFNα, IFNβ, and IFNω
7. Functional differences of types I and III IFNs between humans and mice
8. Tissue specific type I IFNs: IFNε and IFNκ
9. Unique aspects of Type III IFNs and their functional overlap with type I IFNs
10. Design of modifiers of IFN activity

Dr. Walter receives financial support from Pfizer. The other Topic Editor declares no competing interest with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: type I interferons, type III interferons, IFNα, IFNβ, IFNλ, interferon stimulated genes, interferon response genes, IFNAR, IFNω, IFNε, IFNκ, IFNLR1, IL10R2


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Types I and III interferons (IFN-I and IFN-III, respectively) have been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution as primary mediators of cellular defense against pathogens. The past decade has uncovered fundamental structural, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms that regulate IFN-mediated host protection. Highlighting the complexity of the IFN system, humans encode sixteen IFN-Is and four IFN-IIIs, which bind to the IFNAR1/IFNAR2 and IFNLR1/IL10R2 receptor complexes, respectively. The specific roles of each IFN in initiating, sustaining, and tailoring an immune response to various pathogens is currently an area of intense investigation.

Questions investigated in this Research Topic will include the overlapping functions of IFN-Is and IFN-IIIs in the activation of canonical and non-canonical IFN-signaling pathways. Finally, given the evolutionary divergence between primate and rodent IFNs, what are the limitations of rodent models for characterizing human IFN-Is and IFN-IIIs? The goal of this Research Topic is to gather review articles covering the key aspects of IFN signaling outlined below to move the field into the next decade of IFN research:

1. Structures of types I and III IFNs and their receptors
2. Binding of IFN-I and IFN-III to their receptors and assembly of IFN-receptor complexes
3. Effects of IFN receptor internalization and trafficking on functional outcomes of IFN signaling
4. Canonical and non-canonical IFN signaling pathways
5. Interferon response genes (IRG), their functions and patterns of expression
6. Differential functions and signaling by human IFNα, IFNβ, and IFNω
7. Functional differences of types I and III IFNs between humans and mice
8. Tissue specific type I IFNs: IFNε and IFNκ
9. Unique aspects of Type III IFNs and their functional overlap with type I IFNs
10. Design of modifiers of IFN activity

Dr. Walter receives financial support from Pfizer. The other Topic Editor declares no competing interest with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: type I interferons, type III interferons, IFNα, IFNβ, IFNλ, interferon stimulated genes, interferon response genes, IFNAR, IFNω, IFNε, IFNκ, IFNLR1, IL10R2


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 July 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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