ARTICLE | Translation in Brief

Running interference

Modifying IFNγ to duck autoantibodies

October 20, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

While autoantibodies targeting interferon γ (IFNγ) are increasingly recognized as a major contributor to disseminated mycobacterial infections, particularly in Southeast Asia, there are few feasible strategies to combat the autoimmunity and restore IFNγ signaling. Now, Taiwanese researchers have revealed that the vast majority of the autoantibodies likely target a single 11-amino acid sequence in the cytokine’s C-terminus, leading them to create an “epitope-erased” version of IFNγ that can evade neutralization and boost IFNγ signaling.

The team, led by Cheng-Lung Ku, an assistant professor of clinical medical sciences at Chang Gung University, also linked development of the anti-IFNγ autoantibodies to expression of particular human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes and exposure to a specific fungal antigen - both common in Southeast Asia - offering a plausible explanation for the increased prevalence in the region...

BCIQ Target Profiles

Interferon (IFN) gamma