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Mol Immunol. 2008 Apr;45(8):2277-87. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2007.11.018. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Identification of MAVS splicing variants that interfere with RIGI/MAVS pathway signaling.

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Department of Immunology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The mitochondrial anti-viral signaling protein (MAVS), also known as CARDIF, IPS-1, KIAA1271 and VISA, is a mitochondria associated protein that regulates type I interferon production through coordinated activation of NF-kappaB and IRF3. The N-terminal CARD domain of MAVS interacts with RIGI helicase of upcapped RNA detection and the putative TRAF2 and TRAF6 binding motifs modulate protein interaction for NF-kappaB activation. MAVS is encoded by a single gene composed of 6 exons but is generally detected as multiple protein bands after separation by SDS-PAGE. In an effort to identify MAVS variants with diverse biological functions, we isolated three splicing variants and named them MAVS 1a (exon 2 deletion), 1b (exon 3 deletion) and 1c (exon 6 deletion), respectively. MAVS 1a and 1b, due to a frame shift by exon deletion, encode 131 and 124 aa residues, respectively. Except the first 39 aa residues encoded by exon 1, MAVS 1a does not share sequence homology with known proteins, it instead contains a putative TRAF2-binding motif and interacts with TRAF2 and RIP1. MAVS 1b shares the first 97 residues with wt MAVS and 27 aa residues of unknown protein. Unlike MAVS that activates both NF-kappaB and IRF3 pathways, expression of MAVS 1b selectively activates an IFNbeta but not an IL8 promoter. MAVS 1b interacts with RIP1 and FADD and exhibits anti-viral activity against VSV infection. This study uncovers MAVS splicing variants of diverse biological function.

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