Boston Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
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The RIG-I like Receptors (RLRs) are the most widely expressed microbe-detection receptors, being found in virtually all mammalian cell types examined.  These receptors survey the cytoplasmic compartments for the presence of microbial (usually viral) nucleic acids, and activate potent inflammatory and antimicrobial responses when such molecules are encountered.  Their ability to detect virtually any viral infection, and their widespread expression, makes the RLRs a common target of viral immune-evasion tactics.  The Kagan lab is interested in understanding how the RLR-dependent signaling networks are designed, with a particular focus on understanding how the RLR networks are organized in the three-dimensional space of a mammalian cell.