Retinoic-acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I; also called DDX58) is a cytosolic viral RNA receptor that interacts with MAVS (also called VISA, IPS-1 or Cardif) to induce type I interferon-mediated host protective innate immunity against viral infection. Furthermore, members of the tripartite motif (TRIM) protein family, which contain a cluster of a RING-finger domain, a B box/coiled-coil domain and a SPRY domain, are involved in various cellular processes, including cell proliferation and antiviral activity. Here we report that the amino-terminal caspase recruitment domains (CARDs) of RIG-I undergo robust ubiquitination induced by TRIM25 in mammalian cells. The carboxy-terminal SPRY domain of TRIM25 interacts with the N-terminal CARDs of RIG-I; this interaction effectively delivers the Lys 63-linked ubiquitin moiety to the N-terminal CARDs of RIG-I, resulting in a marked increase in RIG-I downstream signalling activity. The Lys 172 residue of RIG-I is critical for efficient TRIM25-mediated ubiquitination and for MAVS binding, as well as the ability of RIG-I to induce antiviral signal transduction. Furthermore, gene targeting demonstrates that TRIM25 is essential not only for RIG-I ubiquitination but also for RIG-I-mediated interferon-β production and antiviral activity in response to RNA virus infection. Thus, we demonstrate that TRIM25 E3 ubiquitin ligase induces the Lys 63-linked ubiquitination of RIG-I, which is crucial for the cytosolic RIG-I signalling pathway to elicit host antiviral innate immunity.
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