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PIWI Proteins Play an Antiviral Role in Lepidopteran Cell Lines

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Insect antiviral immunity primarily relies on RNAi mechanisms. While a key role of small interfering (si)RNAs and AGO proteins has been well established in this regard, the situation for PIWI proteins and PIWI-interacting (pi)RNAs is not as clear. In the present study, we investigate whether PIWI proteins and viral piRNAs are involved in the immunity against single-stranded RNA viruses in lepidopteran cells, where two PIWIs are identified (Siwi and Ago3). Via loss- and gain-of-function studies in Bombyx mori BmN4 cells and in Trichoplusia ni High Five cells, we demonstrated an antiviral role of Siwi and Ago3. However, small RNA analysis suggests that viral piRNAs can be absent in these lepidopteran cells. Together with the current literature, our results support a functional diversification of PIWI proteins in insects.
Tijdschrift: Viruses
ISSN: 1999-4915
Issue: 7
Volume: 14
Jaar van publicatie:2022