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Nat Commun. 2017 May 4;8:15138. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15138.

Ube2D3 and Ube2N are essential for RIG-I-mediated MAVS aggregation in antiviral innate immunity.

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State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.
National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing 102206, China.


Innate immunity plays a pivotal role in virus infection. RIG-I senses viral RNA and initiates an effective innate immune response for type I interferon production. To transduce RIG-I-mediated antiviral signalling, a mitochondrial protein MAVS forms prion-like aggregates to activate downstream kinases and transcription factors. However, the activation mechanism of RIG-I is incompletely understood. Here we identify two ubiquitin enzymes Ube2D3 and Ube2N through chromatographic purification as activators for RIG-I on virus infection. We show that together with ubiquitin ligase Riplet, Ube2D3 promotes covalent conjugation of polyubiquitin chains to RIG-I, while Ube2N preferentially facilitates production of unanchored polyubiquitin chains. In the presence of these polyubiquitin chains, RIG-I induces MAVS aggregation directly on the mitochondria. Our data thus reveal two essential polyubiquitin-mediated mechanisms underlying the activation of RIG-I and MAVS for triggering innate immune signalling in response to viral infection in cells.

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