© 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Interferon may be thought of as a key, with the interferon receptor as the signal lock: Crosstalk between them maintains their balance during viral infection. In this review, the protein structure of avian interferon and the interferon receptor are discussed, indicating remarkable similarity between different species. However, the structures of the interferon receptors are more sophisticated than those of the interferons, suggesting that the interferon receptor is a more complicated signal lock system and has considerable diversity in subtypes or structures. Preliminary evolutionary analysis showed that the subunits of the interferon receptor formed a distinct clade, and the orthologs may be derived from the same ancestor. Furthermore, the development of interferons and interferon receptors in birds may be related to an animal’s age and the maintenance of a balanced state. In addition, the equilibrium between interferon and its receptor during pathological and physiological states revealed that the virus and the host influence this equilibrium. Birds could represent an important model for studies on interferon’s antiviral activities and may provide the basis for new antiviral strategies.
Zhou, H., Chen, S., Wang, M., & Cheng, A. (2014, November 14). Interferons and their receptors in birds: A comparison of gene structure, phylogenetic analysis, and cross modulation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms151121045