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Paramyxovirus V proteins bind to MDA5 (melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5) and LGP2 (laboratory of genetics and physiology gene 2) but not RIG-I (retinoic acid-inducible gene I). The results demonstrate MDA5 R806 is essential for inhibition by diverse V proteins. Complementary substitution for the analogous RIG-I L714 confers V protein recognition. The analogous LGP2 R455 is required for recognition by measles V protein, but not other V proteins. These findings indicate that paramyxoviruses use a single amino acid to distinguish MDA5 from RIG-I and have evolved distinct contact sites for LGP2 interference.