University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Genetics Seminar  > Breaking the silence: defense and counter-defense in antiviral RNA silencing pathways of insects.

Breaking the silence: defense and counter-defense in antiviral RNA silencing pathways of insects.

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Caroline Newnham.

Host: Frank Jiggins

Lacking the innate and adaptive immune responses of vertebrates, insects rely on small RNA pathways for antiviral defense. The ribonuclease Dicer-2 processes viral double-stranded RNA into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which are then used to restrict viral replication. Recent small RNA profiling studies demonstrated that both RNA and DNA viruses are targets of the RNAi response and identified the viral RNA substrates for Dicer. The importance of the antiviral RNAi pathway is underscored by the observation that viruses have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to counteract this immune response. More recently, it was proposed that in Aedes mosquitoes, another small RNA silencing mechanism, the piwi-interacting RNA pathway, also processes viral RNAs. I will present recent insights into antiviral RNA silencing pathways of Drosophila and mosquitoes and discuss the dynamic interplay between host antiviral RNAi and virus counter-defense.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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