Interferon-alpha/beta receptor alpha chain (IFNAR1) is a type I membrane protein that forms one of the two chains of a receptor for interferons alpha and beta. Binding and activation of the receptor stimulates Janus protein kinases, which in turn phosphorylate several proteins, including STAT1 and STAT2. The encoded protein also functions as an antiviral factor. Tyk2 slows down IFNAR1 degradation and that this is due, at least in part, to inhibition of IFNAR1 endocytosis. Mutant versions of IFNAR1, in which Tyr466 is changed to phenylalanine, can act in a dominant negative manner to inhibit phosphorylation of STAT2. These observations are consistent with a model in which IFNAR1 mediates the interaction between JAK kinases and the STAT transcription factors.