Interferon regulatory factors: Growth control and histone gene regulation - It's not just interferon anymore

Patricia S. Vaughan, André J. Van Wijnen, Janet L. Stein, Gary S. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

44 Scopus citations


Interferon-regulatory factors (IRFs) are a related family of proteins originally identified by their ability to bind a DNA sequence found in the β-interferon gene and many interferon-stimulated genes. Two well studied members of this family, IRF-1 and IRF-2, have antagonistic roles in interferon-β gene regulation: IRF-1 activates this gene, and IRF-2 represses the activation by IRF-1. IRF-1 and IRF-2 have more recently been linked to growth control by displaying tumor suppressor and oncogenic activities, respectively. A possible explanation for the oncogenic activity of IRF-2 is the discovery that IRF-2 can activate a histone gene that is functionally coupled to cell cycle progression. This first report of native IRF-2 playing the role of activator of a gene essential for growth may lead to the discovery of a more general involvement of interferon regulatory factors in mediating growth control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-359
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 25 1997



  • cell cycle
  • histone
  • interferon
  • proliferation
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)

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