Opposing forces fight over the same ground to regulate interferon signaling

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The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has spurred new interest in interferon signaling in response to viral pathogens. Much of what we know about the signaling molecules and associated signal transduction induced during the host cellular response to viral pathogens has been gained from research conducted from the 1990's to the present day, but certain intricacies of the mechanisms involved, still remain unclear. In a recent study by Vaughn et al. the authors examine one of the main mechanisms regulating interferon induction following viral infection, the RIG-I/MAVS/IRF3 pathway, and find that similar to PKR both DICER interacting proteins, PACT and TRBP, regulate RIG-I signaling in an opposing manner. More specifically, the reported findings demonstrate, like others, that PACT stimulates RIG-I-mediated signaling in a manner independent of PACT dsRNA-binding ability or phosphorylation at sites known to be important for PACT-dependent PKR activation. In contrast, they show for the first time that TRBP inhibits RIG-I-mediated signaling. RIG-I inhibition by TRBP did not require phosphorylation of sites shown to be important for inhibiting PKR, nor did it involve PACT or PKR, but it did require the dsRNA-binding ability of TRBP. These findings open the door to a complex co-regulation of RIG-I, PKR, MDA5, miRNA processing, and interferon induction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1859
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2021


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