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Protein Cell. 2011 Apr;2(4):273-81. doi: 10.1007/s13238-011-1037-y. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

Silencing suppressors: viral weapons for countering host cell defenses.

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1
CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogens and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

Abstract

RNA silencing is a conserved eukaryotic pathway involved in the suppression of gene expression via sequence-specific interactions that are mediated by 21-23 nt RNA molecules. During infection, RNAi can act as an innate immune system to defend against viruses. As a counter-defensive strategy, silencing suppressors are encoded by viruses to inhibit various stages of the silencing process. These suppressors are diverse in sequence and structure and act via different mechanisms. In this review, we discuss whether RNAi is a defensive strategy in mammalian host cells and whether silencing suppressors can be encoded by mammalian viruses. We also review the modes of action proposed for some silencing suppressors.

PMID:
21528352
PMCID:
PMC4875207
DOI:
10.1007/s13238-011-1037-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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