Interferon alpha (IFN alpha, IFNa) is a member of the type I interferon family. Dendritic cells are a major source of IFN alpha and the protein is involved in the innate immune response to viral infection, but also cell differentiation and anti-tumor responses. Recombinant IFN used as antiviral therapy for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, but also against cancers like Melanoma and T cell Lymphoma. IFN alpha shares a receptor with IFN beta, although with different affinities. The two proteins have overlapping as well as distinct gene expression patterns. Research has linked IFN alpha to autoimmune diseases.
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