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      Structural basis for viral 5′-PPP-RNA recognition by human IFIT proteins

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          Abstract

          IFIT proteins are interferon-inducible, innate immune effector molecules that are thought to confer antiviral defence through disruption of protein-protein interactions in the host translation initiation machinery. However, recently it was discovered that IFITs could directly recognize viral RNA bearing a 5′-triphosphate group (PPP-RNA), which is a molecular signature that distinguishes it from host RNA. Here, we report crystal structures of human IFIT5, its complex with PPP-RNAs, and an N-terminal fragment of IFIT1. The structures reveal a new helical domain that houses a positively charged cavity designed to specifically engage only single stranded PPP-RNA, thus distinguishing it from the canonical cytosolic sensor of double stranded viral PPP-RNA, RIG-I. Mutational analysis, proteolysis and gel-shift assays reveal that PPP-RNA is bound in a non-sequence specific manner and requires approximately a 3-nucleotide 5′-overhang. Abrogation of PPP-RNA binding in IFIT1 and IFIT5 were found to cause a defect in the anti-viral response by HEK cells. These results demonstrate the mechanism by which IFIT proteins selectively recognize viral RNA and lend insight into their downstream effector function.

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          Most cited references 18

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          RIG-I-mediated antiviral responses to single-stranded RNA bearing 5'-phosphates.

          Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) produced during viral replication is believed to be the critical trigger for activation of antiviral immunity mediated by the RNA helicase enzymes retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5). We showed that influenza A virus infection does not generate dsRNA and that RIG-I is activated by viral genomic single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) bearing 5'-phosphates. This is blocked by the influenza protein nonstructured protein 1 (NS1), which is found in a complex with RIG-I in infected cells. These results identify RIG-I as a ssRNA sensor and potential target of viral immune evasion and suggest that its ability to sense 5'-phosphorylated RNA evolved in the innate immune system as a means of discriminating between self and nonself.
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            Structural basis for the activation of innate immune pattern-recognition receptor RIG-I by viral RNA.

            RIG-I is a key innate immune pattern-recognition receptor that triggers interferon expression upon detection of intracellular 5'triphosphate double-stranded RNA (5'ppp-dsRNA) of viral origin. RIG-I comprises N-terminal caspase activation and recruitment domains (CARDs), a DECH helicase, and a C-terminal domain (CTD). We present crystal structures of the ligand-free, autorepressed, and RNA-bound, activated states of RIG-I. Inactive RIG-I has an open conformation with the CARDs sequestered by a helical domain inserted between the two helicase moieties. ATP and dsRNA binding induce a major rearrangement to a closed conformation in which the helicase and CTD bind the blunt end 5'ppp-dsRNA with perfect complementarity but incompatibly with continued CARD binding. We propose that after initial binding of 5'ppp-dsRNA to the flexibly linked CTD, co-operative tight binding of ATP and RNA to the helicase domain liberates the CARDs for downstream signaling. These findings significantly advance our molecular understanding of the activation of innate immune signaling helicases. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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              IFIT1 is an antiviral protein that recognizes 5'-triphosphate RNA.

              Antiviral innate immunity relies on the recognition of microbial structures. One such structure is viral RNA that carries a triphosphate group on its 5' terminus (PPP-RNA). By an affinity proteomics approach with PPP-RNA as the 'bait', we found that the antiviral protein IFIT1 (interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 1) mediated binding of a larger protein complex containing other IFIT family members. IFIT1 bound PPP-RNA with nanomolar affinity and required the arginine at position 187 in a highly charged carboxy-terminal groove of the protein. In the absence of IFIT1, the growth and pathogenicity of viruses containing PPP-RNA was much greater. In contrast, IFIT proteins were dispensable for the clearance of pathogens that did not generate PPP-RNA. On the basis of this specificity and the great abundance of IFIT proteins after infection, we propose that the IFIT complex antagonizes viruses by sequestering specific viral nucleic acids.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                0410462
                6011
                Nature
                Nature
                Nature
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                22 June 2016
                13 January 2013
                7 February 2013
                04 July 2016
                : 494
                : 7435
                : 60-64
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Biochemistry and Groupe de Recherche Axe sur la Structure des Proteines McGill University, Montreal, QC H3G 0B1, Canada
                [2 ]CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria
                [3 ]Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence and request for materials should be addressed to B.N. ( bhushan.nagar@ 123456mcgill.ca ) or G.S.-F. ( gsuperti@ 123456cemm.oeaw.ac.at )
                [*]

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                Article
                CAMS3927
                10.1038/nature11783
                4931921
                23334420

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                innate immunity, tpr, ifit1, isg56, interferon, viral rna, triphophosphate rna, crystal structure, ifit5, isg58

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