Paramyxovirus V Proteins Disrupt the Fold of the RNA Sensor MDA5 to Inhibit Antiviral Signaling

Science, 2013, DOI: 10.1126/science.1230949, vol. 339 no. 6120 pp. 690-693 published on 17.01.2013
Science, online article
The retinoic acid–inducible gene I (RIG-I)–like receptor (RLR) melanoma differentiation–associated protein 5 (MDA5) senses cytoplasmic viral RNA and activates antiviral innate immunity. To reveal how paramyxoviruses counteract this response, we determined the crystal structure of the MDA5 adenosine 5´-triphosphate (ATP)–hydrolysis domain in complex with the viral inhibitor V protein. The V protein unfolded the ATP-hydrolysis domain of MDA5 via a b-hairpin motif and recognized a structural motif of MDA5 that is normally buried in the conserved helicase fold. This leads to disruption of the MDA5 ATP-hydrolysis site and prevention of RNA-bound MDA5 filament formation. The structure explains why V proteins inactivate MDA5, but not RIG-I, and mutating only two amino acids in RIG-I induces robust V protein binding. Our results suggest an inhibition mechanism of RLR signalosome formation by unfolding of receptor and inhibitor.

TU München
Helmholtz München
MPI of Neurobiology
MPI of Biochemistry