Tom70 mediates activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 on mitochondria

Xin Yi Liu, Bo Wei, He Xin Shi, Yu Fei Shan, Chen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Intracellular RNA viruses are sensed by receptors retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-I)/melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) that trigger the formation of MAVS signal complex on mitochondria. Consequently, this leads to the activation of TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), both of which constitutively associate with cytosolic chaperone Hsp90. It remains largely unknown how MAVS activates TBK1/IRF3. In this study, we identified translocases of outer membrane 70 (Tom70), a mitochondrial import receptor, to interact with MAVS upon RNA virus infection. Ectopic expression or knockdown of Tom70 could enhance or impair IRF3-mediated gene expression, respectively. Mechanistically, the clamp domain (R192) of Tom70 interacts with the C-terminal motif (EEVD) of Hsp90, thus recruiting TBK1/IRF3 to mitochondria. Disruption of this interaction or mislocation of Tom70 sharply impairs activation of TBK1 and IRF3. Furthermore, host antiviral responses are significantly boosted or crippled in the presence or absence of Tom70. Collectively, our study characterizes Tom70 as a critical adaptor linking MAVS to TBK1/IRF3, revealing that mitochondrion is evolutionarily integrated with innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1011
Number of pages18
JournalCell Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Hsp90
  • IRF3
  • MAVS
  • Tom70
  • antiviral innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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