Interferon alpha (IFN alpha) is a Type I interferon belonging to a family of structurally related, species-specific proteins exclusive to vertebrates. The interaction of IFN-alpha with its receptor component results in the activation of a number of signaling pathways which are mainly involved in innate immune response against viral infection. In humans, the gene is located on on chromosome 9. The type I interferons consist of 14 different alpha isoforms (subtypes with slightly different specificities), and single beta, omega, epsilon and kappa isoforms. Homologous molecules are found in many species, including rats and mice (and most mammals), and have been identified in birds, reptiles and fish species. Interferon alpha is produced primarily by plasmacytoid dendritic cells and is a potent component of the anti viral innate immune response; it modulates adaptive immunity.View more
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