Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) is a cytokine of 188 amino acids (molecular weight 21.5 kDa) mainly involved in an innate immune response against viral infection. IFN-α, produced by leukocytes, is a type I interferon which binds to a specific cell surface receptor complex known as the IFN-α receptor (IFNAR) that consists of IFNAR1 and IFNAR2. IFN-α is mainly employed as a standard therapy for a number of tumors and viral infections. Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are treated with IFN-α, often in combination with other antiviral drugs.


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