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Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 3;6:27085. doi: 10.1038/srep27085.

Drosophila cells use nanotube-like structures to transfer dsRNA and RNAi machinery between cells.

Author information

1
Institut Pasteur, Viruses and RNA interference, CNRS URM 3569, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.
2
Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris VI, IFD, 4 Place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France.
3
Institut Pasteur, Imagopole, Citech, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.
4
Institut Pasteur, Platform of Ultra-structural microscopy, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.
5
Institut Pasteur, Membrane traffic and pathogenesis, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

Abstract

Tunnelling nanotubes and cytonemes function as highways for the transport of organelles, cytosolic and membrane-bound molecules, and pathogens between cells. During viral infection in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, a systemic RNAi antiviral response is established presumably through the transport of a silencing signal from one cell to another via an unknown mechanism. Because of their role in cell-cell communication, we investigated whether nanotube-like structures could be a mediator of the silencing signal. Here, we describe for the first time in the context of a viral infection the presence of nanotube-like structures in different Drosophila cell types. These tubules, made of actin and tubulin, were associated with components of the RNAi machinery, including Argonaute 2, double-stranded RNA, and CG4572. Moreover, they were more abundant during viral, but not bacterial, infection. Super resolution structured illumination microscopy showed that Argonaute 2 and tubulin reside inside the tubules. We propose that nanotube-like structures are one of the mechanisms by which Argonaute 2, as part of the antiviral RNAi machinery, is transported between infected and non-infected cells to trigger systemic antiviral immunity in Drosophila.

PMID:
27255932
PMCID:
PMC4891776
DOI:
10.1038/srep27085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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