Suppression of RNA silencing by Flock house virus B2 protein is mediated through its interaction with the PAZ domain of Dicer.
ABSTRACT RNA silencing is a conserved pathway that functions as an antiviral mechanism. The majority of viruses encode silencing suppressors that interfere with siRNA- and miRNA-guided silencing pathways. The insect flock house virus B2 protein (FHVB2) functions as an RNAi silencing suppressor that inhibits siRNA biogenesis. Here, we describe the generation of a GFP silent sensor line (Sf21) and a GFP sensor line expressing FHVB2 to study RNAi suppression mechanisms. Overexpression of FHVB2 resulted in suppression of GFP-RNAi and resumption of GFP expression. Protein fractionation studies with FHVB2-transfected cells showed that FHVB2 associates with a high-molecular-weight complex of Dicer and dsRNA/siRNAs. Yeast two-hybrid and pulldown assays revealed an interaction between FHVB2 and Drosophila Dicer proteins that appeared to involve PAZ domains. To map the FHVB2 domains interacting with Dicer, we used a 17-residue C-terminal deletion mutant. RNAi suppression was reversed in cells transfected with the FHVB2 mutant as revealed by loss of GFP. Additional yeast two-hybrid and in vitro pulldown assays confirmed that the C-terminal region of FHVB2 was involved in the interaction with the PAZ domains of Dicers. These results thus reveal a novel interaction between FHVB2 and Dicer that leads to suppression of siRNA biogenesis.
- SourceAvailable from: Krishanu Mukherjee[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) is a eukaryotic molecular system that serves two primary functions: 1) gene regulation and 2) protection against selfish elements such as viruses and transposable DNA. Although the biochemistry of RNAi has been detailed in model organisms, very little is known about the broad-scale patterns and forces that have shaped RNAi evolution. Here we provide a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of the Dicer protein family, which carries out the initial RNA recognition and processing steps in the RNAi pathway. We show that Dicer genes duplicated and diversified independently in early animal and plant evolution, coincident with the origins of multicellularity. We identify a strong signature of long-term protein-coding adaptation that has continually reshaped the RNA-binding pocket of the plant Dicer responsible for antiviral immunity, suggesting an evolutionary arms race with viral factors. We also identify key changes in Dicer domain architecture and sequence leading to specialization in either gene-regulatory or protective functions in animal and plant paralogs. As a whole, these results reveal a dynamic picture in which the evolution of Dicer function has driven elaboration of parallel RNAi functional pathways in animals and plants.Molecular Biology and Evolution 11/2012; · 10.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway defends the germline of animals from the deleterious activity of selfish transposable elements (TEs) through small-RNA mediated silencing. Adaptation to novel invasive TEs is proposed to occur by incorporating their sequences into the piRNA pool that females produce and deposit into their eggs, which then propagates immunity against specific TEs to future generations. In support of this model, the F1 offspring of crosses between strains of the same Drosophila species sometimes suffer from germline derepression of paternally inherited TE families, caused by a failure of the maternal strain to produce the piRNAs necessary for their regulation. However, many protein components of the Drosophila piRNA pathway exhibit signatures of positive selection, suggesting that they also contribute to the evolution of host genome defense. Here we investigate piRNA pathway function and TE regulation in the F1 hybrids of interspecific crosses between D. melanogaster and D. simulans and compare them with intraspecific control crosses of D. melanogaster. We confirm previous reports showing that intraspecific crosses are characterized by derepression of paternally inherited TE families that are rare or absent from the maternal genome and piRNA pool, consistent with the role of maternally deposited piRNAs in shaping TE silencing. In contrast to the intraspecific cross, we discover that interspecific hybrids are characterized by widespread derepression of both maternally and paternally inherited TE families. Furthermore, the pattern of derepression of TE families in interspecific hybrids cannot be attributed to their paucity or absence from the piRNA pool of the maternal species. Rather, we demonstrate that interspecific hybrids closely resemble piRNA effector-protein mutants in both TE misregulation and aberrant piRNA production. We suggest that TE derepression in interspecific hybrids largely reflects adaptive divergence of piRNA pathway genes rather than species-specific differences in TE-derived piRNAs.PLoS Biology 11/2012; 10(11):e1001428. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNAi experiments in insects are characterized by great variability in efficiency; for instance beetles and locusts are very amenable to dsRNA-mediated gene silencing, while other insect groups, most notably lepidopterans, are more refractory to RNAi. Several factors can be forwarded that could affect the efficiency of RNAi, such as the composition and function of the intracellular RNAi machinery, the mechanism of dsRNA uptake, the presence of dsRNA- and siRNA-degrading enzymes and non-specific activation of the innate immune response. In this essay, we investigate the evidence whether persistent infection with RNA viruses could be a major factor that affects the response to exogenous dsRNA in insects. The occurrence of RNA viruses in different insect groups will be discussed, as well as several mechanisms by which viruses could interfere with the process of RNAi. Finally, the impact of RNA virus infection on the design of dsRNA-based insect control strategies will be considered.Frontiers in Physiology 01/2013; 4:319.