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Role of virus-derived DNA synthesis in the amplification of insect antiviral signals

The study of antiviral mechanisms stands as important as ever. In insects, the largest and most diverse class of animals, antiviral immunity mainly relies on virus-derived small RNAs (sRNAs), in a process generally known as RNA interference (RNAi). Specifically, virus-derived sRNAs are incorporated into RNA-induced silencing complexes, to find target viral transcripts by Watson-Crick base pairing. At this point, the targeted viral transcripts are degraded, thus combating the viral infection. Although an antiviral mechanism for sRNA amplification was long thought to be absent in insects, growing evidence indicates otherwise. In this proposal, I aim at investigating a mechanism for sRNA signal amplification via viral DNA production, upon infection of the silkworm with a (non-retroviral) RNA virus. In addition, I want to investigate what specific processes underly this antiviral mechanism. In short, I will do this via deep sequencing technologies, proteomic analysis and functional studies. By establishing key collaborations, I have ensured the ideal conditions to tackle the research questions in the current proposal.

Date:1 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:RNA interference (RNAi)-based antiviral immunity in insects, viral DNA, amplification of the small RNA(sRNA) signal
Disciplines:Animal cell and molecular biology, Invertebrate biology, Nucleic acids, Virology, Molecular and cell biology not elsewhere classified