Mitochondrial dynamics and the innate antiviral immune response

FEBS J. 2014 Sep;281(17):3791-802. doi: 10.1111/febs.12940. Epub 2014 Aug 11.


The innate immune system has a key role in the mammalian immune response. In the cytosol, RNA viruses are sensed by the retinoic acid-inducible gene-I-like receptors, which trigger a complex signaling cascade in which mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein plays a central role in mediating the innate host response through the induction of antiviral and inflammatory responses. Hence, the mitochondrion is now emerging as a fundamental hub for innate antiviral immunity beyond its known roles in metabolic processes and the control of programmed cell death. This review summarizes the findings related to mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein, and mitochondria and their dynamics, in the innate immune response to RNA viruses.

Keywords: innate immunity; mitochondria; mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein; mitochondrial dynamics; retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents
  • DEAD Box Protein 58
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology*
  • Mitochondrial Dynamics*
  • RNA Viruses / immunology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / physiology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antiviral Agents
  • MAVS protein, human
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • DDX58 protein, human
  • DEAD Box Protein 58
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases