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J Immunol. 2007 Mar 15;178(6):3368-72.

Cutting Edge: Influenza A virus activates TLR3-dependent inflammatory and RIG-I-dependent antiviral responses in human lung epithelial cells.

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Unité de Défense Innée et Inflammation, INSERM Unité 874, Institut Pasteur, 25 Rue du Dr. Roux, 75015 Paris, France.


Influenza A virus (IAV) triggers a contagious acute respiratory disease that causes considerable mortality annually. Recently, we established a role for the pattern-recognition TLR3 in the response of lung epithelial cells to IAV-derived dsRNA. However, additional nucleic acid-recognition proteins have lately been implicated as key viral sensors, including the RNA helicases retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene (MDA)-5. In this study, we investigated the respective role of TLR3 vs RIG-I/MDA-5 signaling in human respiratory epithelial cells infected by IAV using BEAS-2B cells transfected with vectors encoding either a dominant-negative form of TLR3 or of mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS; a signaling intermediate of RIG-I and MDA-5), or with plasmids overexpressing functional RIG-I or MDA-5. We demonstrate that the sensing of IAV by TLR3 primarily regulates a proinflammatory response, whereas RIG-I (but not MDA-5) mediates both a type I IFN-dependent antiviral signaling and a proinflammatory response.

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