Time is of the essence

Interferons are crucial signaling molecules employed by the innate immune system in response to infection. Although different interferons give rise to immunologically distinct effects, from antiviral to macrophage-activating functions, the early transcriptional response of cells exhibits remarkable similarity. In work recently published in EMBO Journal, the Decker group and their collaborators from the Medical University of Vienna and the Veterinary Medical University of Vienna have discovered that differences in the biological outcome are rooted in the lifetime of a critical transcription factor, IRF1.

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