During the course of evolution, viruses have captured or created a diverse array of open reading frames, which encode for proteins that serve to evade and sabotage the host innate and adaptive immune responses that would otherwise lead to their elimination. These viral genomes are some of the best textbooks of immunology ever written. The established arsenal of immunomodulatory proteins encoded by viruses is large and growing, and includes specificities for virtually all known inflammatory pathways and targets. The focus of this review is on herpes and poxvirus-encoded cytokine and chemokine-binding proteins that serve to undermine the coordination of host immune surveillance. Structural and mechanistic studies of these decoy receptors have provided a wealth of information, not only about viral pathogenesis but also about the inner workings of cytokine signaling networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-215
Number of pages17
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Decoy receptor
  • Herpesvirus
  • Immune evasion
  • Poxvirus
  • Pro-inflammatory cytokines
  • Structural immunology
  • Viral mimicry


Dive into the research topics of 'Subversion of cytokine networks by virally encoded decoy receptors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this