Spindle-E acts antivirally against alphaviruses in mosquito cells

Varjak, M. , Dietrich, I., Sreenu, V. B. , Till, B. E., Merits, A., Kohl, A. and Schnettler, E. (2018) Spindle-E acts antivirally against alphaviruses in mosquito cells. Viruses, 10(2), 88. (doi:10.3390/v10020088) (PMID:29463033) (PMCID:PMC5850395)

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Abstract

Mosquitoes transmit several human- and animal-pathogenic alphaviruses (Togaviridae family). In alphavirus-infected mosquito cells two different types of virus-specific small RNAs are produced as part of the RNA interference response: short-interfering (si)RNAs and PIWI-interacting (pi)RNAs. The siRNA pathway is generally thought to be the main antiviral pathway. Although an antiviral activity has been suggested for the piRNA pathway its role in host defences is not clear. Knock down of key proteins of the piRNA pathway (Ago3 and Piwi5) in Aedes aegypti-derived cells reduced the production of alphavirus chikungunya virus (CHIKV)-specific piRNAs but had no effect on virus replication. In contrast, knock down of the siRNA pathway key protein Ago2 resulted in an increase in virus replication. Similar results were obtained when expression of Piwi4 was silenced. Knock down of the helicase Spindle-E (SpnE), an essential co-factor of the piRNA pathway in Drosophila melanogaster, resulted in increased virus replication indicating that SpnE acts as an antiviral against alphaviruses such as CHIKV and the related Semliki Forest virus (SFV). Surprisingly, this effect was found to be independent of the siRNA and piRNA pathways in Ae. aegypti cells and specific for alphaviruses. This suggests a small RNA-independent antiviral function for this protein in mosquitoes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schnettler, Dr Esther and Varjak, Dr Margus and Dietrich, Dr Isabelle and Vattipally, Dr Sreenu and Kohl, Professor Alain
Authors: Varjak, M., Dietrich, I., Sreenu, V. B., Till, B. E., Merits, A., Kohl, A., and Schnettler, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Viruses
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1999-4915
ISSN (Online):1999-4915
Published Online:18 February 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Viruses 10(2): 88
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656551Arbovirus interactions with arthropod hostsAlain KohlMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/8MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH
698111MAPPAlain KohlEuropean Commission (EC)661232MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH