Antiviral RNAi in Insects and Mammals: Parallels and Differences.
SourceViruses, 11, 5, (2019), article 448
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway is a potent antiviral defense mechanism in plants and invertebrates, in response to which viruses evolved suppressors of RNAi. In mammals, the first line of defense is mediated by the type I interferon system (IFN); however, the degree to which RNAi contributes to antiviral defense is still not completely understood. Recent work suggests that antiviral RNAi is active in undifferentiated stem cells and that antiviral RNAi can be uncovered in differentiated cells in which the IFN system is inactive or in infections with viruses lacking putative viral suppressors of RNAi. In this review, we describe the mechanism of RNAi and its antiviral functions in insects and mammals. We draw parallels and highlight differences between (antiviral) RNAi in these classes of animals and discuss open questions for future research.
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