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Background: A family of interferon (IFN) regulatory factors (IRFs) have been shown to play a role in transcription of IFN genes as well as IFN-stimulated genes. The IRF-3 gene encodes a 50-kDa protein that binds specifically to the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) but not to the IRF-1 binding site PRD-I. Overexpression of IRF-3 stimulates expression of the IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) promoter, an ISRE-containing promoter. The high amino acid homology between IRF-3 and ISG factor 3 gamma polypeptide (ISGF3 gamma) and their similar binding properties indicate that, like ISGF3 gamma, IRF-3 may activate transcription by complex formation with other transcriptional factors, possibly members of the Stat family (1). IRF-3 is expressed constitutively in a variety of tissues, and the relative levels of IRF-3 mRNA do not change in virus-infected or IFN-treated cells (2). In uninfected cells, the IRF-3 component of DRAF1 resides in the cytoplasm. The cytoplasmic localization of IRF-3 is dependent on a nuclear export signal, and IRF-3 is recognized by the chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) (also known as exportin 1) shuttling receptor. Following infection and specific phosphorylation, IRF-3 accumulates in the nucleus where it associates with CBP and p300 (3).