Sensing of viral RNA by the cytosolic receptors RIG-I and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) leads to innate antiviral response. How RIG-I and MDA5 are dynamically regulated in innate antiviral response is not well understood. Here, we show that TRIM38 positively regulates MDA5- and RIG-I–mediated induction of downstream genes and acts as a SUMO E3 ligase for their dynamic sumoylation at K43/K865 and K96/K888, respectively, before and after viral infection. The sumoylation of MDA5 and RIG-I suppresses their K48-linked polyubiquitination and degradation in uninfected or early-infected cells. Sumoylation of the caspase recruitment domains of MDA5 and RIG-I is also required for their dephosphorylation by PP1 and activation upon viral infection. At the late phase of viral infection, both MDA5 and RIG-I are desumoylated by SENP2, resulting in their K48-linked polyubiquitination and degradation. These findings suggest that dynamic sumoylation and desumoylation of MDA5 and RIG-I modulate efficient innate immunity to RNA virus and its timely termination.
- Submitted: 2 July 2016
- Revision received 10 November 2016
- Accepted: 22 December 2016
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