Viral RNA detection by RIG-I-like receptors

Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Feb;32:48-53. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2014.12.012. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


In higher vertebrates, recognition of the non-self signature of invading viruses by genome-encoded pattern recognition receptors initiates antiviral innate immunity. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) detect viral RNA as a non-self pattern in the cytoplasm and activate downstream signaling. Detection of viral RNA also activates stress responses resulting in stress granule-like aggregates, which facilitate RLR-mediated antiviral immunity. Among the three RLR family members RIG-I and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) recognize distinct viral RNA species with differential molecular machinery and activate signaling through mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS, also known as IPS-1/VISA/Cardif), which leads to the expression of cytokines including type I and III interferons (IFNs) to restrict viral propagation. In this review, we summarize recent knowledge regarding RNA recognition and signal transduction by RLRs and MAVS/IPS-1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA, Viral / immunology
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • RNA, Viral
  • Ubiquitin
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases