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Sci. STKE, 3 July 2001
Vol. 2001, Issue 89, p. re2
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.89.re2]


Signal Integration via PKR

Bryan R. G. Williams

The author is in the Department of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. E-mail williab{at}

Gloss: Interferons (IFNs) are secreted proteins that signal the presence of a virus infection to surrounding cells. Cells respond to IFNs by establishing an antiviral state that prohibits virus replication, thereby limiting infection. One of the mediators of this antiviral state is an enzyme, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR). Recently, in addition to its role as an antiviral protein, PKR has been shown to be essential in the development of normal cellular inflammatory responses to the products of both bacterial and viral infections. In this role, PKR functions as a transducer of signals from the extracellular milieu to the nucleus, a process which enables activation of expression of genes encoding molecules important for inflammation and immune responses. PKR performs this role by directly interacting with other intracellular components of signaling pathways and regulating their activity. When the activity of PKR is disrupted, cells become defective in their programmed death responses to different signals.

Citation: B. R. G. Williams, Signal Integration via PKR. Sci. STKE 2001, re2 (2001).

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