Interferon, alpha 4 (IFNA4) belongs to the alpha/beta interferon family. Two variants of IFNA4 (IFNA4a and IFNA4b) are known, which differ from each other by changes in their coding regions at nucleotide positions 220 and 410 and can be distinguished by selective restriction enzyme analysis. Interferons are produced by macrophages, IFN-alpha has antiviral activities. Interferon stimulates the production of two enzymes: a protein kinase and an oligoadenylate synthetase. IFN-alpha, the first cytokine to be produced by recombinant DNA technology, has emerged as an important regulator of growth and differentiation, affecting cellular communication and signal transduction pathways as well as immunological control. Originally discovered as an antiviral substance, the efficacy of IFN-alpha in malignant, viral, immunological, angiogenic, inflammatory, and fibrotic diseases suggests a spectrum of interrelated pathophysiologies. IFN-alpha emerged as a prototypic tumor suppressor protein that represses the clinical tumorigenic phenotype in some malignancies capable of differentiation.