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ERC

VIVARNASILENCING Report Summary

Project ID: 615680
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Netherlands

Mid-Term Report Summary - VIVARNASILENCING (Antiviral Defense in the Vector Mosquito Aedes aegypti: induction and suppression of RNA silencing pathways)

Mosquitoes transmit viruses like Zika, Chikungunya, and Dengue, which are responsible for debilitating disease and worldwide epidemics. For example, dengue virus causes >100 million infections per year. These viruses are transmitted by two vector mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Complex interactions between virus and mosquito determine the potential of these mosquitoes to transmit specific viruses. Crucial in this interplay is the small RNA-based immune response of the mosquito. This ERC CoG project will analyze the biogenesis, mechanism and functions of small RNA-mediated antiviral defense in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. In the first part of the project, the researchers have characterized a novel class of viral RNAs, so-called viral PIWI-interacting RNAs. They propose that PIWI proteins in Aedes aegypti are functionally specialized to exert multiple functions, including antiviral defense.

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