IRF7(U73036:9606) is a key transcriptional factor involved in the signaling pathway leading to establishment of antiviral state in infected cells. Under normal conditions, IRF7(U73036:9606) exists in a latent form in the cytoplasm. Viral infection triggers the phosphorylation of IRF7(U73036:9606) C-terminal region. The activated IRF7(U73036:9606) migrates to the nucleus leading to the transcriptional activation of the IFN-alpha and IFN-beta genes. IRF7(U73036:9606) is predominantly expressed in the spleen, thymus and primary blood lymphocytes(PBL) as a lymphoid-specific factor.
Several viral proteins interfere with IRF7(U73036:9606) activity thus modulating the response to the virus induced in the infected cell. For example, VP35(Q05127) from ebola virus exploits the cellular SUMOylation machinery for its advantage and increase IRF7(U73036:9606) SUMOylation thereby disabling its activity.