Molecular cell biology and immunobiology of mammalian rod/ring structures

Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2014:308:35-74. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800097-7.00002-6.


Nucleotide biosynthesis is a highly regulated process necessary for cell growth and replication. Cytoplasmic structures in mammalian cells, provisionally described as rods and rings (RR), were identified by human autoantibodies and recently shown to include two key enzymes of the CTP/GTP biosynthetic pathways, cytidine triphosphate synthetase (CTPS) and inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). Several studies have described CTPS filaments in mammalian cells, Drosophila, yeast, and bacteria. Other studies have identified IMPDH filaments in mammalian cells. Similarities among these studies point to a common evolutionarily conserved cytoplasmic structure composed of a subset of nucleotide biosynthetic enzymes. These structures appear to be a conserved metabolic response to decreased intracellular GTP and/or CTP pools. Antibodies to RR were found to develop in some hepatitis C patients treated with interferon-α and ribavirin. Additionally, the presence of anti-RR antibodies was correlated with poor treatment outcome.

Keywords: Cytidine triphosphate synthetase; Embryonic stem cells; Hepatitis C; Inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase; Mycophenolic acid; Nucleotide metabolism; Ribavirin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Animals
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / metabolism
  • Cell Biology
  • Cytoplasmic Structures / immunology*
  • Cytoplasmic Structures / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasmic Structures / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • IMP Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Molecular Biology


  • IMP Dehydrogenase
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases
  • CTP synthetase