Functional evolution of the TICAM-1 pathway for extrinsic RNA sensing


Tsukasa Seya
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine
Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku
Sapporo 060-8638
Tel.: +81 11 706 5073
Fax: +81 11 706 7866


Summary:  The type I interferon (IFN) is a host defense factor against microbial pathogens in vertebrates. In mammals, retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) in the cytoplasm are regarded as sensors for double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and trigger IFN regulatory factor-3 (IRF-3) activation followed by type I IFN induction through the mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) adapter. This intrinsic pathway appears to link the main protective responses against RNA virus infection in mammals. On the other hand, human Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is localized in the endosomal membrane or cell surface and signals the presence of extrinsic dsRNA. In response to RNA stimulation, TLR3 recruits the Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain (TIR)-containing adapter molecule 1 (TICAM-1) adapter and induces IRF-3 activation followed by IFN-β promoter activation. Human TLR3 is localized limitedly extent in myeloid dendritic cells, fibroblasts, and epithelial cells. The TICAM-1 and cytoplasmic MAVS pathways converge at the IRF-3-activating kinase in human cells. The reason for the involvement of this extrinsic mode of IFN-inducing pathways in the dsRNA response remains unknown. In fish, two TLRs, i.e. endoplasmic TLR3 and cell surface TLR22, participate in teleost IFN production without the activation of IRF-3. TLR22 is distinct from mammalian TLR3 in terms of cellular localization, ligand selection, and tissue distribution. TLR22 may be a functional substitute for human cell surface TLR3 and may serve as a surveillance molecule for detecting dsRNA virus infection and alerting the immune system for antiviral protection in fish. In this review, we discuss the fundamentals of the extrinsic dsRNA recognition system, which has evolved to induce cellular effectors to cope with dsRNA virus infection across different vertebrate species.