Transcription factor redundancy ensures induction of the antiviral state.

Schmid, S., Mordstein, M., Kochs, G., Garcia-Sastre, A. and Tenoever, B. R.

J Biol Chem 15/10/2010

PMID: 20943654


The transcriptional response to virus infection is thought to be predominantly induced by interferon (IFN) signaling. Here we demonstrate that, in the absence of IFN signaling, an IFN-like transcriptome is still maintained. This transcriptional activity is mediated from IFN-stimulated response elements (ISREs) that bind to both the IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3) as well as to IFN response factor 7 (IRF7). Through a combination of both in vitro biochemistry and in vivo transcriptional profiling, we have dissected what constitutes IRF-specific, ISGF3-specific, or universal ISREs. Taken together, the data presented here suggest that IRF7 can induce an IFN-like transcriptome in the absence of type-I or -III signaling and therefore provides a level of redundancy to cells to ensure the induction of the antiviral state.