Gene Silencing

RNA Interference Versus Viruses

Science's STKE  21 May 2002:
Vol. 2002, Issue 133, pp. TW182
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.133.TW182


Posttranscriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in plants, a form of RNA silencing wherein RNA produced by a gene is destroyed, protects them from invading nucleic acids, mainly viruses and transposons. The biological role of the highly related phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) in animals has been less clear. Li et al. now show that RNAi can be induced by viral infection of insect cells and plays a similar protective role. The virus contains a protein that is able to suppress RNAi, indicating that the virus is in an evolutionary "arms race" with its host.

H. Li, W. X. Li, S. W. Ding, Induction and suppression of RNA silencing by an animal virus. Science 296, 1319-1321 (2002). [Abstract] [Full Text]