dsRNA and the innate antiviral immune response Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Innate immunity is the first line of defense against viral infections. It is based on a mechanism of sensing pathogen-associated molecular patterns through host germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors. dsRNA is arguably the most important viral pathogen-associated molecular pattern due to its expression by almost all viruses at some point during their replicative cycle. Viral dsRNA has been studied for over 55 years, first as a toxin, then as a type I interferon inducer, a viral mimetic and an immunomodulator for therapeutic purposes. This article will focus on dsRNA, its structure, generation (both endogenous and viral), host sensing mechanisms and induction of type I interferons. The possible therapeutic applications of these findings will also be discussed. The goal of this article is to give an overview of these mechanisms, highlighting novel findings, while providing a historical perspective.

publication date

  • May 2010