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J Biol Chem. 2009 Jan 9;284(2):807-17. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M804259200. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Riplet/RNF135, a RING finger protein, ubiquitinates RIG-I to promote interferon-beta induction during the early phase of viral infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.


RIG-I (retinoic acid-inducible gene-I), a cytoplasmic RNA helicase, interacts with IPS-1/MAVS/Cardif/VISA, a protein on the outer membrane of mitochondria, to signal the presence of virus-derived RNA and induce type I interferon production. Activation of RIG-I requires the ubiquitin ligase, TRIM25, which mediates lysine 63-linked polyubiquitination of the RIG-I N-terminal CARD-like region. However, how this modification proceeds for activation of IPS-1 by RIG-I remains unclear. Here we identify an alternative factor, Riplet/RNF135, that promotes RIG-I activation independent of TRIM25. The Riplet/RNF135 protein consists of an N-terminal RING finger domain, C-terminal SPRY and PRY motifs, and shows sequence similarity to TRIM25. Immunoprecipitation analyses demonstrated that the C-terminal helicase and repressor domains of RIG-I interact with the Riplet/RNF135 C-terminal region, whereas the CARD-like region of RIG-I is dispensable for this interaction. Riplet/RNF135 promotes lysine 63-linked polyubiquitination of the C-terminal region of RIG-I, modification of which differs from the N-terminal ubiquitination by TRIM25. Overexpression and knockdown analyses revealed that Riplet/RNF135 promotes RIG-I-mediated interferon-beta promoter activation and inhibits propagation of the negative-strand RNA virus, vesicular stomatitis virus. Our data suggest that Riplet/RNF135 is a novel factor of the RIG-I pathway that is involved in the evoking of human innate immunity against RNA virus infection, and activates RIG-I through ubiquitination of its C-terminal region. We infer that a variety of RIG-I-ubiquitinating molecular complexes sustain RIG-I activation to modulate RNA virus replication in the cytoplasm.

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