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Innate Antiviral Responses by Means of TLR7-Mediated Recognition of Single-Stranded RNA

Science  05 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5663, pp. 1529-1531
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093616

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Abstract

Interferons (IFNs) are critical for protection from viral infection, but the pathways linking virus recognition to IFN induction remain poorly understood. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce vast amounts of IFN-α in response to the wild-type influenza virus. Here, we show that this requires endosomal recognition of influenza genomic RNA and signaling by means of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) and MyD88. Single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) molecules of nonviral origin also induce TLR7-dependent production of inflammatory cytokines. These results identify ssRNA as a ligand for TLR7 and suggest that cells of the innate immune system sense endosomal ssRNA to detect infection by RNA viruses.

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