Interferon receptors mediate anti-viral cellular responses triggered by the interferon family of soluble proteins. During times of infection, receptor signaling can lead to interference of viral replication, activation of immune cells, up-regulating antigen presentation via MHC antigens, and contributing to "flu-like symptoms" such as fever and muscle pain. Signaling is mediated through the JAK-STAT pathway, involving a variety of JAK (Janus kinase) proteins, and STAT (signal transducer and activator of transcription) transcription factors. IRF9 is a separate protein that is recruited to STAT1/STAT2 complexes, which then translocate into the nucleus and bind to ISREs (IFN-stimulated response elements), promoting the transcription of genes. STAT homodimers or heterodimers also bind to GAS (IFN-activated site) elements inducing a variety of genes.
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