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Dynamics of the RNAi-mediated antiviral immunity

Objective

RNA interference (RNAi) is a conserved sequence-specific, gene-silencing mechanism that is induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Double-stranded RNA is commonly generated during viral replication and is considered to be a molecular pattern associated with viral infection. Our previous work demonstrated that viral infections in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are countered by an antiviral RNAi response: the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway is the major antiviral defence mechanism in insects. Recently, another RNAi pathway was also suggested to be involved in antiviral defence, the piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway.
The field of insect immunity has been largely dominated by studies on antimicrobial immunity, while antiviral immunity has received relatively little attention. Based on a combination of basic and applied science as well as bioinformatic approaches, we propose to investigate the molecular and cellular aspects underlying the immune dynamics of the antiviral response. We want to uncover fully the mechanism of antiviral RNAi in insects and its main attributes, such as memory, long-lasting immunity, specificity, and effect on the virus.
The “nucleic-acid based” immune system that we are deciphering points to the concerted effort of multiple defence pathways from both partners as a new perspective in immunity and host-pathogen relationships.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/immunology

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-CG - ERC Consolidator Grants

Host institution

INSTITUT PASTEUR
Address
Rue Du Docteur Roux 25-28
75724 Paris Cedex 15
France
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 442 600
Principal investigator
Maria Carla Saleh Bottegoni (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Sophie Ablott (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

INSTITUT PASTEUR
France
EU contribution
€ 1 442 600
Address
Rue Du Docteur Roux 25-28
75724 Paris Cedex 15
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Maria Carla Saleh Bottegoni (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Sophie Ablott (Ms.)