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About

Type I interferons (IFN-I) are multifunctional cytokines that act locally and systemically in many physiological and pathological processes, sometimes in a paradoxical way. Although widely used in clinical application, IFN-I can become pathogenic in chronic infections and in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Our Unit investigates cell-intrinsic molecular mechanisms mediating and regulating IFN-I responses in human cells. We also focus on the direct effect of IFN-I on T cell-mediated immune response and on the impact of TYK2 variants in autoimmunity. We deem that knowledge of signaling mechanisms ensuring a balanced IFN-I response and return to homeostasis is essential to understand immunological processes and to translation into clinical application. Our recent study of ISG15-deficient patients illustrates how disruptive the lack of a subtle signaling retrocontrol can be to the equilibrium of the immune system. As a whole, our research aims at bridging molecular analysis to human physiology and pathogenesis. Conceptually, our findings can serve as paradigm for other cytokine systems and may direct the development of innovative therapeutics to better utilize IFN or to target its activity.

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