LGP2 synergy with MDA5 in RLR-mediated RNA recognition and antiviral signaling

Annie M. Bruns*, Curt M. Horvath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells have the ability to recognize virus infection and mount a powerful antiviral response. Pattern recognition receptor proteins detect molecular signatures of virus infection and activate antiviral signaling. The RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) proteins are expressed in the cytoplasm of nearly all cells and specifically recognize virus-derived RNA species as a molecular feature discriminating the pathogen from the host. The RLR family is composed of three homologous proteins, RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2. All RLRs have the ability to detect virus-derived dsRNA and hydrolyze ATP, but display individual differences in enzymatic activity, intrinsic ability to recognize RNA, and mechanisms of activation. Emerging evidence suggests that MDA5 and RIG-I utilize distinct mechanisms to form oligomeric complexes along dsRNA. Aligning of their signaling domains creates a platform capable of propagating and amplifying antiviral signaling responses. LGP2 with intact ATP hydrolysis is critical for the MDA5-mediated antiviral response, but LGP2 lacks the domains essential for activation of antiviral signaling, leaving the role of LGP2 in antiviral signaling unclear. Recent studies revealed a mechanistic basis of synergy between LGP2 and MDA5 leading to enhanced antiviral signaling. This review briefly summarizes the RLR system, and focuses on the relationship between LGP2 and MDA5, describing in detail how these two proteins work together to detect foreign RNA and generate a fully functional antiviral response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 3 2015


  • Antiviral immunity
  • LGP2
  • MDA5
  • RIG-I-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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