Basics on Interferons

Chapter 6 of Genentech sparked my curiosity about Interferons. I wanted to know why they are so important, what the do, and why Genentech wanted to work with them so badly. I did some research about Interferons in an encyclopedia, and found out a lot of useful information. Below is some of that information.

What are interferons:

Interferons are “a group of proteins known primarily for their role in inhibiting viral infections and in stimulating the entire immune system to fight disease.”

What are their medical uses:

Interferons “can inhibit cell division, which is one reason why they hold promise for stopping cancer growth. Recent studies have also found that one interferon may play an important role in the early biological processes of pregnancy.”

Also, “several interferon proteins have been approved as therapies for diseases like chronic hepatitis , genital warts, multiple sclerosis, and several cancers.”

Directly relating to Genentech:

The encyclopedia stated, ” biotechnological advances, making genetic engineering easier and faster, are making protein drugs like interferons more available for study and use. Using recombinant DNA technology, or gene splicing, genes that code for interferons are identified, cloned, and used for experimental studies and in making therapeutic quantities of protein. These modern DNA manipulation techniques have made possible the use of cell-signaling molecules like interferons as medicines.


This photo was taken from The Free Dictionary by Farlex

Basics on Interferons