Potent anti-feline immunodeficiency virus and anti-human immunodeficiency virus effect of IFN-tau. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ovine IFN-tau is a newly described protein related to IFN-alpha that is responsible for maternal recognition of pregnancy in sheep. It has been shown to exhibit potent antiviral and antiproliferative activity. To determine its antiviral activity against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and HIV, the activity of the RNA-dependent DNA polymerase, reverse transcriptase, was assayed in FIV- and HIV-infected feline and human PBL treated with IFN-tau. Significant dose-dependent inhibition of reverse transcriptase activity by IFN-tau was detected by day 6 of culture and was maintained through the peak of virus replication. In addition, production of the FIV core protein, p25, was blocked by IFN-tau. Both the amino- and carboxyl-terminal regions of IFN-tau, as identified by synthetic peptides, appear to be involved in its antiretroviral activity. Comparison of the anti-HIV activities of IFN-tau and recombinant human IFN-alpha2 (rHuIFN-alpha2) indicated that while rHuIFN-alpha2 was toxic to cells at 10,000 U/ml, IFN-tau antiretroviral activity was not associated with a decrease in either cell viability or immunologic reactivity. Thus, IFN-tau displayed potent anti-FIV and anti-HIV activity without the cytotoxicity associated with high concentrations of rHuIFN-alpha2.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Pontzer, C. H., Yamamoto, J. K., Bazer, F. W., Ott, T. L., & Johnson, H. M.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Pontzer, CH||Yamamoto, JK||Bazer, FW||Ott, TL||Johnson, HM

publication date

  • May 1997