Structural-functional characterisation of Type I interferon receptors and signalling pathways is a Research Project for the Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling Research Group, under the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases.
The type I interferons (IFNs) are cytokines that are pivotal to the host innate immune response, which protects against viral and bacterial infections and cancer. Up to 20 different ligands share the same heterodimeric receptor. Work in our laboratory focuses on investigating the structure and function of the different type I IFNs (including the IFNe family, IFNb and IFNe) and how they engage their receptors to activate signal transduction pathways and thus, the transmission of differential signals. This project involves the use of biochemical techniques for the purification of recombinant forms of the IFNs and their receptors and will include such biophysical techniques as native gel electrophoresis, CD spectra, Surface Plasmon Resonance, X-ray crystallography, proteomics and transcriptomics to characterise ligandreceptor interactions, protein:protein interactions and protein activation, and gene expression analysis to characterise signalling and biological outcomes. Aspects of this ongoing work were published in Nature Immunology (2013) Sep; 14(9):901-7.