Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) is an antiviral transmembrane protein that inhibits virus entry into host cells. Genomic analysis reveals that IFITM3 is undergoing recurrent gene duplication in primates. IFITM3 homologs exhibit divergent antiviral specificities, suggesting that the duplication and divergence of IFITM genes occur in response to selective pressure from multiple virus infections. Therefore, the diversification of IFITM3 genes during evolution may boost the antiviral coverage of host cells and provide selective functional advantages.
Last modified: 19 October 2018