With Mani Subramanian and Vijay Balan’s groups we studied the global transcriptional profile during the first 4 weeks of treatment of human chronic hepatitis C patients with pegylated interferon alfa (PEG-IFN-alpha). Novel transcription factors potentially involved in secondary gene regulation cascades, a potential dsRNA receptor with a RNA helicase domain related to that found in the HELICARD protein and members of the ubiquitin signaling pathways, including a novel predicted deubiquitinating peptidase were all identified as being up-regulated upon treatment with IFN. This predicted peptidase is a highly derived version of the APG4 family of papain-like peptidases and contains a catalytic histidine that is in entirely different location from that found in the regular APG4-like proteins. The overall findings provide new light on possible physiological effects of IFN-alpha, new downstream signaling pathways and open lines of investigations on the mode of action of PEG-IFN-alpha combination therapy.
Click here to read the paper