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Zinc Finger Protein Key to Immune Response

Professor Bryan Williams of the Monash Institute of Medical Research has presented the results of research into immune response in the prestigious publication Immunity

Zinc Finger Protein Key to Immune Response describes the discovery that promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (PLZF) plays an important role in the immune response mediated by interferon. Interferon is shown to stimulate an association between PLZF and cofactors to switch on several key interferon-stimulated genes, including those involved in protection against viral infections.

Although much has been learned about the mechanism of action of interferon, the reason that some patients are more sensitive to treatment with interferon than others has proved difficult to identify.

The results described in the study provide new insights into the mechanisms regulating the action of interferon, and demonstrate that PLZF is an important factor in the immune response and could therefore be used as a possible drug target for both anti-viral and anti-tumour drug therapy.

The paper can be found online at from 11 June, 2009. The print version of this journal will be available from 19 June, 2009.

A preview, by Professor Keiko Ozato, of this important paper appears in the same issue of Immunity

Immunity Cover

Interferons interact with receptors on the cell surface to initiate signalling processes that result in the activation of interferon-stimulated genes within the nucleus. We have identified PLZF as a novel component of the interferon response, which activates many interferon-stimulated genes.