Qiu-Xing Jiang * Pages 1 - 16 ( 16 )
Cells need high-sensitivity detection of non-self molecules in order to fight against pathogens. These cellular sensors are thus of significant importance to medicinal purposes, especially for treating novel emerging pathogens. RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) are intracellular sensors for viral RNAs (vRNAs). Their active forms activate mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) and trigger downstream immune responses against viral infection. Functional and structural studies of the RLR-MAVS signal pathway have revealed significant supramolecular variability in the past few years, which revealed different aspects of the functional signaling pathway. Here I will discuss the molecular events of RLR-MAVS pathway from the angle of detecting single copy or a very low copy number of vRNAs in the presence of non-specific competition from cytosolic RNAs, and review key structural variability in the RLR / vRNA complexes, the MAVS helical polymers, and the adapter-mediated interactions between the active RLR / vRNA complex and the inactive MAVS in triggering the initiation of the MAVS filaments. These structural variations may not be exclusive to each other, but instead may reflect the adaptation of the signaling pathways to different conditions or reach different levels of sensitivity in its response to exogenous vRNAs.
Cryo-electron microscopy, exogenous microorganisms, NMR technique, RLR and MAVS, viral RNAs, X-ray crystallography.
Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida 1355 Museum Drive, PO Box 110700, Gainesville, FL 32611