RNA interference targets arbovirus replication in Culicoides cells

Schnettler, E., Ratinier, M., Watson, M., Shaw, A. E., McFarlane, M., Varela, M., Elliott, R. M., Palmarini, M. and Kohl, A. (2013) RNA interference targets arbovirus replication in Culicoides cells. Journal of Virology, 87(5), pp. 2441-2454. (doi: 10.1128/JVI.02848-12) (PMID:23269795) (PMCID:PMC3571378)

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Arboviruses are transmitted to vertebrate hosts by biting arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks and midges. These viruses replicate in both arthropods and vertebrates and are thus exposed to different antiviral responses in these organisms. RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific RNA degradation mechanism that has been shown to play a major role in the antiviral response against arboviruses in mosquitoes. Culicoides midges are important vectors of arboviruses, known to transmit pathogens of humans and livestock such as bluetongue virus (BTV) (Reoviridae), Oropouche virus (Bunyaviridae), and likely the recently discovered Schmallenberg virus (Bunyaviridae). In this study we investigated whether Culicoides cells possess an antiviral RNAi response and whether this is effective against arboviruses including those with dsRNA genome such as BTV. Using reporter-gene based assays we established the presence of a functional RNAi response in Culicoides sonorensis-derived KC cells, which is effective in inhibiting BTV infection. Sequencing of small RNAs from KC and Aedes aegypti-derived Aag2 cells infected with BTV or the unrelated Schmallenberg virus resulted in the production of virus-derived small interfering RNAs (viRNAs) of 21 nucleotides, similar to the viRNAs produced during arbovirus infections of mosquitoes. In addition, viRNA profiles strongly suggest that the BTV dsRNA genome is accessible to a Dicer-type nuclease. Thus, we show for the first time that midge cells target arbovirus replication by mounting an antiviral RNAi response mainly resembling that of other insect vectors of arboviruses.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ratinier, Dr Maxime and Palmarini, Professor Massimo and Mcdonald, Dr Melanie and Elliott, Professor Richard and Schnettler, Dr Esther and Shaw, Dr Andrew and Kohl, Professor Alain and Varela, Dr Mariana
Authors: Schnettler, E., Ratinier, M., Watson, M., Shaw, A. E., McFarlane, M., Varela, M., Elliott, R. M., Palmarini, M., and Kohl, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1098-5514
Published Online:26 December 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 American Society for Microbiology
First Published:First published in Journal of Virology 87(5):2441-2454
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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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