Interferon induction is a critical decision made by cells. As a signal of virus invasion, interferon must be induced in a timely fashion if the host is to survive the infection. Interferon response must also be limited to the duration of infection to avoid potential autoimmune effects. Therefore, it is not surprising that only a limited number of interferon-inducing signals have been identified to date, chief among them, doublestranded RNA. While its interferon-inducing effects have been known for a long time, the protein sensors that mediate recognition of double-stranded RNA remained obscure. Recent discovery of the RIG-I and MDA5 RNA helicases has begun to lift the veil on this long-standing mystery and promises to guide us to better treatment of viral infections and better management of autoimmune disorders involving interferon. This chapter discusses our progress in understanding interferon induction by double-stranded RNA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNucleic Acids in Innate Immunity
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781420068269
ISBN (Print)9781420068252
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


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