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Type I interferons (IFNs) are central components of the antiviral response. Most cell types respond to viral infections by secreting IFNs, but the mechanisms that regulate correct expression of these cytokines are not completely understood. Here, we show that activation of the type I IFN response regulates the expression of miRNAs in a post-transcriptional manner. Activation of IFN expression alters the binding of the Microprocessor complex to pri-miRNAs, reducing its processing rate and thus leading to decreased levels of a subset of mature miRNAs in an IRF3-dependent manner. The rescue of Microprocessor function during the antiviral response downregulates the levels of IFN-β and IFN-stimulated genes. All these findings support a model by which the inhibition of Microprocessor activity is an essential step to induce a robust type I IFN response in mammalian cells.
- type I interferon