Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) belongs to the CD225 family. To replicate, viruses must gain access to the host cell's resources. Interferon (IFN) regulates the actions of a large complement of interferon effector genes (IEGs) that prevent viral replication. The interferon inducible transmembrane protein family members, IFITM1, 2 and 3, are IEGs required for inhibition of influenza A virus, dengue virus, and West Nile virus replication in vitro. IFITM3 is an IFN-induced antiviral protein that mediates cellular innate immunity to at least three major human pathogens, namely influenza A H1N1 virus, West Nile virus (WNV), and dengue virus (WNV), by inhibiting the early step(s) of replication. It is both necessary and sufficient for preventing the emergence of viral genomes from the endosomal pathway. Viral pseudoparticles were inhibited from transferring their contents into the host cell cytosol by IFN, and IFITM3 was required and sufficient for this action. IFITM3 overexpression is sufficient for this phenotype. Moreover, IFITM3 partially resides in late endosomal and lysosomal structures, placing it in the path of invading viruses.
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