Ancient origins of vertebrate-specific innate antiviral immunity

Published: July 24th, 2014

Category: Publications

The Kolaczkowski Lab‘s recent paper in Molecular Biology and Evolution examines the molecular-functional evolution of the RIG-like receptors, a group of cytoplasmic proteins involved in antiviral immunity in animals. We find that the RIG-like receptors (RLRs) originated very early in animal evolution – much earlier than previously thought – and that they diversified their RNA-binding repertoire through a series of gene duplication events associated with structural changes in the RNA-recognition domain. Future work aims to identify the key molecular substitutions responsible for these functional shifts in RNA-binding preference, as well as the structural mechanisms through which they act.

 

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