TRIM Proteins in Host Defense and Viral Pathogenesis

Maria I. Giraldo, Adam Hage, Sarah van Tol, Ricardo Rajsbaum Gorodezky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins are a large group of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in different cellular functions. Of special interest are their roles in innate immunity, inflammation, and virus replication. We discuss novel roles of TRIM proteins during virus infections that lead to increased pathogenicity. Recent Findings: TRIM proteins regulate different antiviral and inflammatory signaling pathways, mostly by promoting ubiquitination of important factors including pattern recognition receptors, adaptor proteins, kinases, and transcription factors that are involved in type I interferon and NF-κB pathways. Therefore, viruses have developed mechanisms to target TRIMs for immune evasion. New evidence is emerging indicating that viruses have the ability to directly use TRIMs and the ubiquitination process to enhance the viral replication cycle and cause increased pathogenesis. A new report on TRIM7 also highlights the potential pro-viral role of TRIMs via ubiquitination of viral proteins and suggests a novel mechanism by which ubiquitination of virus envelope protein may provide determinants of tissue and species tropism. Summary: TRIM proteins have important functions in promoting host defense against virus infection; however, viruses have adapted to evade TRIM-mediated immune responses and can hijack TRIMs to ultimately increase virus pathogenesis. Only by understanding specific TRIM-virus interactions and by using more in vivo approaches can we learn how to harness TRIM function to develop therapeutic approaches to reduce virus pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Clinical Microbiology Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • E3 ubiquitin ligase
  • Immunity
  • Pathogenesis
  • TRIM6
  • TRIM7
  • Tripartite motif (TRIM)
  • Type I interferons
  • Ubiquitin
  • Virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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