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PROSITE documentation PDOC00225 [for PROSITE entry PS00252]

Interferon alpha, beta and delta family signature


Interferons [1] are proteins which produce antiviral and antiproliferative responses in cells. On the basis of their sequence interferons are classified into five groups: α, α-II (or omega), β, delta (or trophoblast) [2] and γ. Except for γ-interferon, the sequence of all the others are related. Once the signal peptide has been removed, these interferons are mature proteins of 160 to 170 residues.

A disulfide bond is one of the best conserved structural features of the proteins belonging to this family. The signature pattern for this family of proteins includes one of the cysteines involved in this disulfide bond.


Except for mouse interferon-β, all proteins from this family have a cysteine in position 10 of the pattern.

Expert(s) to contact by email:

Rubinstein M.

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.

Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

INTERFERON_A_B_D, PS00252; Interferon alpha, beta and delta family signature  (PATTERN)


1TitleInterferons and other regulated cytokines.
Source(In) de Maeyer E., de Maeyer-Guignard J., Eds., Wiley and Sons, New-York, (1988).

2AuthorsRoberts R.M. Cross J.C. Leaman D.W.
TitleInterferons as hormones of pregnancy.
SourceEndocrinol. Rev. 13:432-452(1992).
PubMed ID1385108

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