Toll-like receptors and RNA helicases: two parallel ways to trigger antiviral responses
The early detection by the host of invading microorganisms, including viruses, depends on a limited number of specific receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). A few of these PAMPs, including ssRNA and dsRNA, are recognized by Toll-like receptors (TLR)-7/8 and TLR3, respectively. Activation of an antiviral TLR-dependent signaling cascade leads to the activation of the key transcription factors IRF and NF-kappaB, which promote antiviral responses through induction of specific genes. Recently, a second system has been described, which relies on the cytoplasmic recognition of dsRNA by RNA helicases such as RIG-I. In this review, we discuss the mechanistic aspects of these important arms of the host innate response to dsRNA and a few viral strategies utilized to counteract them.