MDA5 (Melanoma Differentiation-Associated protein 5) is a RIG-I-like receptordsRNAhelicaseenzyme that in humans is encoded by the IFIH1gene. MDA5 is part of the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) family, which also includes RIG-I and LGP2, and functions as a pattern recognition receptor (recognizing dsRNA) that is a sensor for viruses. MDA5 typically recognizes dsRNA that is over 2000nts in length. For many viruses, effective MDA5-mediated antiviral responses are dependent on functionally active LGP2.  The signaling cascades in MDA5 is initiated via CARD domain.
DEAD box proteins, characterized by the conserved motif Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp (DEAD), are putative RNA helicases. They are implicated in a number of cellular processes involving alteration of RNA secondary structure such as translation initiation, nuclear and mitochondrial splicing, and ribosome and spliceosome assembly. Based on their distribution patterns, some members of this family are believed to be involved in embryogenesis, spermatogenesis, and cellular growth and division. This gene encodes a DEAD box protein that is upregulated in response to treatment with beta-interferon (IFNB) and a protein kinase C-activating compound, mezerein (MEZ). Irreversible reprogramming of melanomas can be achieved by treatment with both these agents; treatment with either agent alone only achieves reversible differentiation.
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