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Coronaviruses have a relatively high mutation rate, potentially allowing fast adaptation to changing pressures. Here, Wong et al. provide the structure of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the human coronavirus HCoV-229E and its receptor and analyze the evolution of the RBD over the past 50 years.
Seasonal influenza viruses continue to cause epidemics each year. In this Review, Petrova and Russell discuss recent advances in understanding the molecular determinants of influenza virus immune escape, sources of evolutionary selection pressure, population dynamics of influenza viruses and prospects for better influenza virus control.
Proteins of the TRIM family have regulatory functions in immune signaling, often via ubiquitination of target proteins. Here, the authors show that TRIM29 is induced upon infection with DNA viruses, resulting in degradation of STING, decreased interferon signaling and increased pathogenicity in mice.
In a recent study, Takata et al. show that viral CG suppression is key for the replication of HIV-1 and that the zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP), by specifically binding to CG-rich RNA sequences, can identify non-self RNAs and target them for degradation.
The sensor cyclic GMP–AMP synthase (cGAS) is well known to recognize viral DNA. In this issue of Nature Microbiology, infection by dengue virus (DENV), which has an RNA genome, is shown to induce mitochondrial DNA release into the cytosol, leading to cGAS activation. In turn, DENV targets cGAS to evade antiviral immunity.
This study reports that the DENV non-structural protein NS4B induces elongation of mitochondria, and that this is linked to the formation of convoluted membranes, enhanced viral replication and impaired immune responses.