About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Advances in Virology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 131457, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/131457
Review Article

Viral Infection: An Evolving Insight into the Signal Transduction Pathways Responsible for the Innate Immune Response

1University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts, New York, NY 10001, USA
2Division of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA

Received 7 February 2012; Accepted 21 June 2012

Academic Editor: Julia G. Prado

Copyright © 2012 Girish J. Kotwal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The innate immune response is initiated by the interaction of stereotypical pathogen components with genetically conserved receptors for extracytosolic pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or intracytosolic nucleic acids. In multicellular organisms, this interaction typically clusters signal transduction molecules and leads to their activations, thereby initiating signals that activate innate immune effector mechanisms to protect the host. In some cases programmed cell death—a fundamental form of innate immunity—is initiated in response to genotoxic or biochemical stress that is associated with viral infection. In this paper we will summarize innate immune mechanisms that are relevant to viral pathogenesis and outline the continuing evolution of viral mechanisms that suppress the innate immunity in mammalian hosts. These mechanisms of viral innate immune evasion provide significant insight into the pathways of the antiviral innate immune response of many organisms. Examples of relevant mammalian innate immune defenses host defenses include signaling to interferon and cytokine response pathways as well as signaling to the inflammasome. Understanding which viral innate immune evasion mechanisms are linked to pathogenesis may translate into therapies and vaccines that are truly effective in eliminating the morbidity and mortality associated with viral infections in individuals.