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J Biol Chem. 2009 May 15;284(20):13348-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M809449200. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Identification of loss of function mutations in human genes encoding RIG-I and MDA5: implications for resistance to type I diabetes.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Institute for Virus Research, and Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) are essential for detecting viral RNA and triggering antiviral responses, including production of type I interferon. We analyzed the phenotype of non-synonymous mutants of human RIG-I and MDA5 reported in databases by functional complementation in cell cultures. Of seven missense mutations of RIG-I, S183I, which occurs within the second caspase recruitment domain repeat, inactivated this domain and conferred a dominant inhibitory function. Of 10 mutants of MDA5, two exhibited loss of function. A nonsense mutation, E627*, resulted in deletion of the C-terminal region and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding activity. Another loss of function mutation, I923V, which occurs within the C-terminal domain, did not affect dsRNA binding activity, suggesting a novel and essential role for this residue in the signaling. Remarkably, these mutations are implicated in resistance to type I diabetes. However, the A946T mutation of MDA5, which has been implicated in type I diabetes by previous genetic analyses, affected neither dsRNA binding nor IFN gene activation. These results provide new insights into the structure-function relationship of RIG-I-like receptors as well as into human RIG-I-like receptor polymorphisms, antiviral innate immunity, and autoimmune diseases.

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