RIG-I and Other RNA Sensors in Antiviral Immunity

Annu Rev Immunol. 2018 Apr 26:36:667-694. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-042617-053309.


Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) survey intra- and extracellular spaces for pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) within microbial products of infection. Recognition and binding to cognate PAMP ligand by specific PRRs initiates signaling cascades that culminate in a coordinated intracellular innate immune response designed to control infection. In particular, our immune system has evolved specialized PRRs to discriminate viral nucleic acid from host. These are critical sensors of viral RNA to trigger innate immunity in the vertebrate host. Different families of PRRs of virus infection have been defined and reveal a diversity of PAMP specificity for wide viral pathogen coverage to recognize and extinguish virus infection. In this review, we discuss recent insights in pathogen recognition by the RIG-I-like receptors, related RNA helicases, Toll-like receptors, and other RNA sensor PRRs, to present emerging themes in innate immune signaling during virus infection.

Keywords: DExD/H box helicases; RIG-I-like receptors; RLR; RNA sensing; TLR; Toll-like receptors; antiviral immunity; innate immune signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DEAD Box Protein 58 / metabolism*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • RNA Helicases / metabolism
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism
  • Virus Diseases / etiology*
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*
  • Viruses / immunology*


  • RNA, Viral
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • RIGI protein, human
  • DEAD Box Protein 58
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • RNA Helicases