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Structural and functional insights into 5'-ppp RNA pattern recognition by the innate immune receptor RIG-I.

Wang Y., Ludwig J., Schuberth C., Goldeck M., Schlee M., Li H., Juranek S., Sheng G., Micura R., Tuschl T., Hartmann G., Patel D.J.

RIG-I is a cytosolic helicase that senses 5'-ppp RNA contained in negative-strand RNA viruses and triggers innate antiviral immune responses. Calorimetric binding studies established that the RIG-I C-terminal regulatory domain (CTD) binds to blunt-end double-stranded 5'-ppp RNA a factor of 17 more tightly than to its single-stranded counterpart. Here we report on the crystal structure of RIG-I CTD bound to both blunt ends of a self-complementary 5'-ppp dsRNA 12-mer, with interactions involving 5'-pp clearly visible in the complex. The structure, supported by mutation studies, defines how a lysine-rich basic cleft within the RIG-I CTD sequesters the observable 5'-pp of the bound RNA, with a stacked phenylalanine capping the terminal base pair. Key intermolecular interactions observed in the crystalline state are retained in the complex of 5'-ppp dsRNA 24-mer and full-length RIG-I under in vivo conditions, as evaluated from the impact of binding pocket RIG-I mutations and 2'-OCH(3) RNA modifications on the interferon response.

Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 17:781-787(2010) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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