Cellular responses to pathogen invasion are crucial for maintaining cell homeostasis and survival. The interferon (IFN) system is one of the most effective cellular responses to viral intrusion in mammals. Viral recognition by innate immune sensors activates the antiviral IFN system. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) like receptors (RLRs) are DExD/H box RNA helicases that sense viral invasion. RLRs recognize cytoplasmic viral RNAs and trigger antiviral responses, resulting in production of type I IFN and inflammatory cytokines. Unique and common sensing mechanisms among RLRs have been reported. In this review, recent progress in the understanding of antiviral responses by RLRs is summarized and discussed.
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