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Structure-function of type I and III interferons.

Type I and type III interferons (IFNs) are major components in activating the innate immune response. Common to both are two distinct receptor chains (IFNAR1/IFNAR2 and IFNLR1/IL10R2), which form ternary complexes upon binding their respective ligands. This results in close proximity of the intracellularly associated kinases JAK1 and TYK2, which cross phosphorylate each other, the associated receptor chains, and signal transducer and activator of transcriptions, with the latter activating IFN-stimulated genes. While there are clear similarities in the biological responses toward type I and type III IFNs, differences have been found in their tropism, tuning of activity, and induction of the immune response. Here, we focus on how these differences are embedded in the structure/function relations of these two systems in light of the recent progress that provides in-depth information on the structural assembly of these receptors and their functional implications and how these differ between the mouse and human systems.

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