Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Sci STKE. 2006 Jun 13;2006(339):pe27.

Innate immune defense through RNA interference.

Author information

  • 1Department of Immunology, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8.

Abstract

RNA interference (RNAi, also known as RNA silencing) has recently emerged as a fundamental and widespread regulator of gene expression. New developments in this field implicate RNAi in the innate immune response to infection in plants and animals. Evidence from plants, tissue culture cells, and Caenorhabditis elegans-based systems previously suggested that RNAi plays a role in the defense against viral infection, but definitive evidence using viruses and whole animals has been lacking. Two recent reports now show that both Drosophila embryos and adult flies mount a substantial innate immune response to insect viruses that requires the RNAi machinery. This innate response is distinct from known bacterial and fungal defense systems provided by the Toll and immune deficiency (Imd) pathways, thus defining a previously unrecognized strategy to fight viral infection. Whether RNAi, aside from its function in counteracting viruses, is also used to fight bacterial infection remained enigmatic. New evidence, however, now shows that in Arabidopsis, the bacterial component, flagellin, induces the expression of a specific microRNA, which in turn leads to the down-regulation of the signaling pathways that are implicated in disease susceptibility. This down-regulation then increases the plant's resistance to infection. Whether RNAi mechanisms also exist for combating bacterial diseases in animals remains an intriguing question for future studies.

PMID:
16772641
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk