• cell surface;
  • interferon induction;
  • poly I:C receptor


Not-self or denatured nucleic acids are recognized by pattern recognition receptors localized mainly in endosomes and cytoplasm, such as Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3, TLR7, TLR9, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I, DNA-dependent activator of IFN-regulatory factors and other receptors. The binding of polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid (poly I:C), a synthetic dsRNA that robustly induces type I interferon, to a putative cell-surface receptor on a rabbit kidney cell line, RK13, has been analyzed by the authors and RK13 cells found to capture poly I:C in a specific fashion with sufficient affinity. These findings suggest that an alternative receptor to poly I:C participates in the induction of type 1 interferon, which localizes on cell surfaces. Although the nature of this molecule has not yet been identified, accumulating evidence has led the present authors to speculate that there are undefined classes of RNA-recognition molecules on cell surfaces and that these are unlikely to be categorized as previously reported dsRNA receptors. Although many years have passed since this possibility was first reported by the present authors, it remains attractive. In this article, previously reported cell-surface dsRNA receptors are reviewed in comparison with other receptors reported to date that are firmly involved in the innate immune-sensing of nucleic acids.