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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2017 Jan 24;70(1):38-44. doi: 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2015.671. Epub 2016 May 9.

Argonaute 2 Suppresses Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infection in Aedes aegypti.

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Department of Medical Entomology, National Institute of Infectious Disease.


There are three main innate immune mechanisms against viruses in mosquitoes. Infection with the flavivirus dengue virus is controlled by RNA interference (RNAi) and the JAK-STAT and Toll signaling pathways. This study showed that another flavivirus, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), did not invade the salivary glands of Aedes aegypti and that this may be a result of the innate immune resistance to the virus. Argonaute 2 (Ago2) plays a critical role in the RNAi pathway. To understand the mechanism of JEV resistance, we focused on Ago2 as a possible target of JEV. Here, we show that the expression of MyD88 (a mediator of Toll signaling) and Ago2 mRNAs was induced by JEV in the salivary glands of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes and that Ago2, JAK, and domeless (DOME) mRNAs were induced by JEV in the bodies of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Double-stranded (ds) Ago2 RNA enhanced JEV infection, and the virus was detected in salivary glands by immunofluorescence assay. In contrast, MyD88 dsRNA had no effect on JEV infection. These data suggest that Ago2 plays a crucial role in mediating the innate immune response of Ae. aegypti to JEV in a manner similar to that employed by dengue virus.

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