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Title: Cross-species comparison reveals molecular and functional novelty of porcine interferon-omega subtype

item SANG, YONGMING - Tennessee State University
item LIU, QINFANG - Kansas State University
item Miller, Laura
item LEE, J - Kansas State University
item MA, WENJUN - Kansas State University
item BLECHA, FRANK - Kansas State University

Submitted to: American Association of Immunologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2017
Publication Date: 6/13/2017
Citation: Sang, Y., Liu, Q., Lee, J., Miller, L.C., Ma, W., Blecha, F. 2017. Cross-species comparison reveals molecular and functional novelty of porcine interferon-omega subtype. Journal of Immunology 198(1):226.6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Innate immune interferons (IFNs), particularly type I IFNs, are primary mediators regulating antiviral immunity. These antiviral cytokines have evolved remarkable molecular and functional diversity to confront ever-evolving viral threats. We have annotated IFN gene families across 155 animal genomes, and show that pigs have the largest and an expanding type I IFN family consisting of nearly 60 functional genes that encode seven IFN subtypes including multigene subtypes of IFN-alpha and -omega. Whereas subtypes such as IFN-alpha and -beta have been widely studied, the unconventional IFN-omega subtype has barely been investigated. We have evolutionarily defined the porcine IFN family, and preliminarily showed that porcine IFN-omega subtype has evolved several novel features including, (1) a signature multi-gene subtype expanding particularly in bats and ungulates, (2) emerging isoforms that have much higher antiviral potency than typical IFN-alpha, (3) cross-species high antiviral (but little antiproliferative) activity in cells of humans and other mammalian species, and (4) potential action through non-canonical signaling pathways. This study is focused on antiviral potency of porcine IFN-omegas investigating their evolutionary and functional diversity, signaling specificity, and optimization of novel antivirals against devastating viral diseases. This project will, for the first time in an animal species, establish state-of-the-art procedures for efficient characterization of the molecular and functional spectrums of unconventional IFNs, which will further IFN-based novel antiviral design.