Interferon Alpha 6 (IFNa6)
gene was positioned in the cluster of interferon genes on 9p22 by deletion mapping .
Interferons (IFNs) are proteins made and released by lymphocytes in response to the presence of pathogens—such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites—or tumor cells. IFNs belong to the large class of glycoproteins known as cytokines. Although they are named after their ability to "interfere" with viral replication within host cells, IFNs have other functions: they activate immune cells, such as natural killer cells and macrophages; they increase recognition of infection or tumor cells by up-regulating antigen presentation to T lymphocytes; and they increase the ability of uninfected host cells to resist new infection by virus. Certain host symptoms, such as aching muscles and fever, are related to the production of IFNs during infection.