The interferons are high molecular weight proteins that inhibit the growth of cancer cells and the propagation of viruses. All the independent states have a defense system to protect them from foreign invasion. Like every human body, it has a defense system to protect it from foreign viruses, bacteria, fungi, poison, and other objects. It is the body's immune system (immune system). Interferon is a protein-like chemical defense weapon that belongs to the body's immune system. In a word, interferon is a defense protein. When a particular virus infects a body cell, the infected cell releases a chemical substance (glycoprotein) called interferon in response to it. The secreted interferon stops the protein synthesis process of the invading virus, so the virus can no longer multiply and attack the next cells. Therefore, the cells around the infected cells are protected from the attack of the virus. Moreover, they become resistant to the virus. The function of interferon is to stop the multiplication of the invading virus and to make the healthy cells resistant to the virus and protect them from the virus attack. British scientists, Alick Isaacs & Jean Lindermann, discovered interferon in the year of 1957.
Use of interferon
Interferon is a specific type of hormone; various tissues of the same body produce different types of interferon. One type of interferon is secreted from virus-infected leukocytes, and another kind of interferon is from fibroblast cells. Although interferon is secreted by virus-infected cells, it is now possible to produce more interferon using recombinant DNA techniques. It has been possible to treat complicated hepatitis B, some herpes infections, and various types of papilloma by applying interferon. Besides, success has been achieved in the treatment of rabies. Researchers believe that interferon can be successfully used to stop the growth of cancer cells. Interferon is used to treat cancer.
The entire process of interferon production is as follows:
1. The DNA was extracted from human fibroblast cells, and the gene carrying the code for interferon (interferon-beta) was isolated at first.
2. Then, a suitable plasmid is cut using restriction enzymes.
3. The interferon gene segment is ligated into the cut (empty) portion of the plasmid with DNA ligase enzyme, and then a recombinant DNA molecule is made.
4. The recombinant DNA containing the interferon gene is introduced into E. coli bacteria.
5. This time, E. coli with recombinant DNA was extensively propagated in a culture medium by E. coli. The interferon produced is secreted by the plant.
6. Later, the interferon is isolated and purified from the culture medium.
7. Purified interferon is stored and marketed primarily; one such interferon is commercial; The name is Betaferon.