Viral infection of the cell is able to initiate a signaling cascade of events that ultimately attempts to limit viral replication and prevent escalating infection through expression of host antiviral proteins. Recent work has highlighted the importance of the host antiviral protein viperin in this process, with its ability to limit a large variety of viral infections as well as play a role in the production of type I interferon and the modulation of a number of transcription factor binding sites. Viperin appears to have the ability to modulate varying conditions within the cell and to interfere with proviral host proteins in its attempts to create an unfavorable environment for viral replication. The study of the mechanistic actions of viperin has come a long way in recent years, describing important functional domains of the protein for its antiviral and immune modulator actions as well as demonstrating its role as a member of the radical SAM enzyme family. However, despite the rapid expansion of knowledge regarding the functions of this highly conserved and ancient antiviral protein, there still remains large gaps in our understanding of the precise mechanisms at play for viperin to exert such a wide variety of roles within the cell.
Keywords: immunity; interferon; interferon-stimulated gene; viral replication; virus.
© 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.