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Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Sep;10(9):632-44. doi: 10.1038/nri2824. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

RNA-based antiviral immunity.

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Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


In eukaryotic RNA-based antiviral immunity, viral double-stranded RNA is recognized as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern and processed into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) by the host ribonuclease Dicer. After amplification by host RNA-dependent RNA polymerases in some cases, these virus-derived siRNAs guide specific antiviral immunity through RNA interference and related RNA silencing effector mechanisms. Here, I review recent studies on the features of viral siRNAs and other virus-derived small RNAs from virus-infected fungi, plants, insects, nematodes and vertebrates and discuss the innate and adaptive properties of RNA-based antiviral immunity.

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