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Science 312 (5772): 452-454

Copyright © 2006 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

RNA Interference Directs Innate Immunity Against Viruses in Adult Drosophila

Xiao-Hong Wang,1* Roghiyh Aliyari,2* Wan-Xiang Li,2 Hong-Wei Li,2 Kevin Kim,4 Richard Carthew,4 Peter Atkinson,3 Shou-Wei Ding1,2{dagger}

Abstract: Innate immunity against bacterial and fungal pathogens is mediated by Toll and immune deficiency (Imd) pathways, but little is known about the antiviral response in Drosophila. Here, we demonstrate that an RNA interference pathway protects adult flies from infection by two evolutionarily diverse viruses. Our work also describes a molecular framework for the viral immunity, in which viral double-stranded RNA produced during infection acts as the pathogen trigger whereas Drosophila Dicer-2 and Argonaute-2 act as host sensor and effector, respectively. These findings establish a Drosophila model for studying the innate immunity against viruses in animals.

1 Graduate Program for Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
2 Department of Plant Pathology and Center for Plant Cell Biology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
3 Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
4 Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dingsw{at}

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