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Sci. STKE, 14 November 2006
Vol. 2006, Issue 361, p. tw391
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.3612006tw391]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Virology Spotting Invaders

Guy Riddihough

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

The cell’s ability to distinguish invading RNA or DNA from the plethora of its own nucleic acid sequences plays a critical role in protecting the genome from potentially harmful damage, and a number of systems have evolved to sniff out unwanted alien genes and trigger cellular responses. Retinoic acid-inducible protein I (RIG-I), part of the cellular alarm system in the cytoplasm, specifically recognizes a number of RNA viruses, but what is RIG-I actually sensing? Hornung et al. and Pichlmair et al. show that RIG-I detects and binds to an unusual feature of the 5' end of the viral RNA, specifically, a 5'-phosphate group.

V. Hornung, J. Ellegast, S. Kim, K. Brzózka, A. Jung, H. Kato, H. Poeck, S. Akira, K.-K. Conzelmann, M. Schlee, S. Endres, G. Hartmann, 5'-Triphosphate RNA is the ligand for RIG-I. Science 314, 994-997 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

A. Pichlmair, O. Schulz, C. P. Tan, T. I. Näslund, P. Liljeström, F. Weber, C. Reis e Sousa, RIG-I-mediated antiviral responses to single-stranded RNA bearing 5'-phosphates. Science 314, 997-1001 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]

T. Fujita, Sensing viral RNA amid your own. Science 314, 935-936 (2006). [Summary] [Full Text]

Citation: G. Riddihough, Spotting Invaders. Sci. STKE 2006, tw391 (2006).


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