InTRIMsic immunity: Positive and negative regulation of immune signaling by tripartite motif proteins

Gijs A. Versteeg, Stefan Benke, Adolfo García-Sastre, Ricardo Rajsbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

100 Scopus citations


During the immune response, striking the right balance between positive and negative regulation is critical to effectively mount an anti-microbial defense while preventing detrimental effects from exacerbated immune activation. Intra-cellular immune signaling is tightly regulated by various post-translational modifications, which allow for this dynamic response. One of the post-translational modifiers critical for immune control is ubiquitin, which can be covalently conjugated to lysines in target molecules, thereby altering their functional properties. This is achieved in a process involving E3 ligases which determine ubiquitination target specificity.One of the most prominent E3 ligase families is that of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins, which counts over 70 members in humans. Over the last years, various studies have contributed to the notion that many members of this protein family are important immune regulators. Recent studies into the mechanisms by which some of the TRIMs regulate the innate immune system have uncovered important immune regulatory roles of both covalently attached, as well as unanchored poly-ubiquitin chains. This review highlights TRIM evolution, recent findings in TRIM-mediated immune regulation, and provides an outlook to current research hurdles and future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-576
Number of pages14
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • E3 ligase
  • Interferon
  • TRIM protein
  • TRIMmunity
  • Ubiquitin


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