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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Nov-Dec;1809(11-12):601-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Apr 30.

Viral induction and suppression of RNA silencing in plants.

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  • 1Research Faculty of Agriculture-Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


RNA silencing in plants and insects can function as a defence mechanism against invading viruses. RNA silencing-based antiviral defence entails the production of virus-derived small interfering RNAs which guide specific antiviral effector complexes to inactivate viral genomes. As a response to this defence system, viruses have evolved viral suppressors of RNA silencing (VSRs) to overcome the host defence. VSRs can act on various steps of the different silencing pathways. Viral infection can have a profound impact on the host endogenous RNA silencing regulatory pathways; alterations of endogenous short RNA expression profile and gene expression are often associated with viral infections and their symptoms. Here we discuss our current understanding of the main steps of RNA-silencing responses to viral invasion in plants and the effects of VSRs on endogenous pathways. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: MicroRNAs in viral gene regulation.

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