RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) utilize a specialized, multi-domain architecture to detect and respond to invasion by a diverse set of viruses. Structural similarities among these receptors provide a general mechanism for double strand RNA recognition and signal transduction. However, each RLR has developed unique strategies for sensing the specific molecular determinants on subgroups of viral RNAs. As a means to circumvent the antiviral response, viruses escape RLR detection by degrading, or sequestering or modifying their RNA. Patterns of variation in RLR sequence reveal a continuous evolution of the protein domains that contribute to RNA recognition and signaling.
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