Purpose of review: This review highlights new roles of the large family of tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins in antiviral defense.
Recent findings: Recent research explores the participation of several TRIM family members in regulating the innate immune response. A large number of TRIM genes are upregulated upon treatment by interferon and are directly involved in signaling (TRIM5, 13, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32 and 38). Notably, TRIM5α has been identified as a ‘pattern recognition receptor’ triggering a cascade of signals upon viral recognition, and contributing to the establishment of the antiviral state.
Summary: The identification of new roles for TRIM5α and other family members contributes to an emerging paradigm of host antiretroviral factors as mediators of the innate immune response and of the antiviral state. This leads both to direct therapeutic applications, such as gene therapy, and to the possibility of immune modulation.