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What is the role of double-stranded RNA in antiviral host defense systems?

Animals, insects, and plants use a variety of sensing mechanisms to detect invading pathogens such as viruses. One complex and effective antiviral defense system they share is based on recognition of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), often produced when a virus invades a host cell.

New information leading to a clearer understanding of the mechanisms underlying viral dsRNA sensing is presented in a comprehensive Review article published in Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free online on the Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research website.

Isaque João da Silva de Faria and coauthors from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, describe two families of sensors that share a region with high specificity for viral dsRNA. In the article "dsRNA Sensing During Viral Infection: Lessons from Plants, Worms, Insects and Mammals" they explain that while this shared region is necessary for dsRNA recognition, it is not sufficient. The authors review recent studies that have identified novel components of these antiviral recognition systems that contribute to their complexity and effectiveness in protecting hosts against viral infection.

"While dsRNA has long been recognized as a product of viral infection, the understanding of cellular mechanisms for its recognition and for subsequent response has increased dramatically in recent years. This review addresses the impact of this new information," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Thomas A. Hamilton, PhD, Chairman, Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

About the Journal

Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, led by Co-Editors-in-Chief Ganes C. Sen, PhD, Chairman, Department of Molecular Genetics, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and Thomas A. Hamilton, PhD, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that covers all aspects of interferons and cytokines from basic science to clinical applications. Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research is the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research. Complete tables of content and a sample issue ( may be viewed online on theJournal of Interferon & Cytokine Research website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Viral Immunology, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, and DNA and Cell Biology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's over 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Vicki Cohn | EurekAlert!
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