Theranostics 2020; 10(20):9407-9424. doi:10.7150/thno.48520


Roles of long non-coding RNAs and emerging RNA-binding proteins in innate antiviral responses

Yiliang Wang1,2, Yun Wang3, Weisheng Luo1,2, Xiaowei Song1,2, Lianzhou Huang1,2, Ji Xiao1,2, Fujun Jin1,2, Zhe Ren1,2✉, Yifei Wang1,2✉

1. Guangzhou Jinan Biomedicine Research and Development Center, Institute of Biomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, PR China.
2. Key Laboratory of Virology of Guangzhou, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, P.R, China.
3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, PR China.

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Wang Y, Wang Y, Luo W, Song X, Huang L, Xiao J, Jin F, Ren Z, Wang Y. Roles of long non-coding RNAs and emerging RNA-binding proteins in innate antiviral responses. Theranostics 2020; 10(20):9407-9424. doi:10.7150/thno.48520. Available from

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The diseases caused by viruses posed a great challenge to human health, the development of which was driven by the imbalanced host immune response. Host innate immunity is an evolutionary old defense system that is critical for the elimination of the virus. The overactive innate immune response also leads to inflammatory autoimmune diseases, which require precise control of innate antiviral response for maintaining immune homeostasis. Mounting long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) transcribed from the mammalian genome are key regulators of innate antiviral response, functions of which greatly depend on their protein interactors, including classical RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and the unconventional proteins without classical RNA binding domains. In particular, several emerging RBPs, such as m6A machinery components, TRIM family members, and even the DNA binding factors recognized traditionally, function in innate antiviral response. In this review, we highlight recent progress in the regulation of type I interferon signaling-based antiviral responses by lncRNAs and emerging RBPs as well as their mechanism of actions. We then posed the future perspective toward the role of lncRNA-RBP interaction networks in innate antiviral response and discussed the promising and challenges of lncRNA-based drug development as well as the technical bottleneck in studying lncRNA-protein interactions. Our review provides a comprehensive understanding of lncRNA and emerging RBPs in the innate antiviral immune response.

Keywords: long non-coding RNAs, RNA-binding proteins, innate antiviral responses, N6-methyladenosine, TRIM family