Role of alternative splicing in regulating host response to viral infection

Kuo Chieh Liao, Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The importance of transcriptional regulation of host genes in innate immunity against viral infection has been widely recognized. More recently, post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms have gained appreciation as an additional and important layer of regulation to fine-tune host immune responses. Here, we review the functional significance of alternative splicing in innate immune responses to viral infection. We describe how several central components of the Type I and III interferon pathways encode spliced isoforms to regulate IFN activation and function. Additionally, the functional roles of splicing factors and modulators in antiviral immunity are discussed. Lastly, we discuss how cell death pathways are regulated by alternative splicing as well as the potential role of this regulation on host immunity and viral infection. Altogether, these studies highlight the importance of RNA splicing in regulating host–virus interactions and suggest a role in downregulating antiviral innate immunity; this may be critical to prevent pathological inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1720
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Alternative splicing
  • Antiviral response
  • Cell death pathways
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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