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Mouse circulating extracellular vesicles contain virus-derived siRNAs active in antiviral immunity.

  • Zhang, Yuqiang
  • Dai, Yunpeng
  • Wang, Jiaxin
  • Xu, Yan
  • Li, Zhe
  • Lu, Jinfeng
  • Xu, Yongfen
  • Zhong, Jin
  • Ding, Shou-Wei
  • Li, Yang
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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Induction and suppression of antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) has been observed in mammals during infection with at least seven distinct RNA viruses, including some that are pathogenic in humans. However, while the cell-autonomous immune response mediated by antiviral RNAi is gradually being recognized, little is known about systemic antiviral RNAi in mammals. Furthermore, extracellular vesicles (EVs) also function in viral signal spreading and host immunity. Here, we show that upon antiviral RNAi activation, virus-derived small-interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs) from Nodamura virus (NoV), Sindbis virus (SINV), and Zika virus (ZIKV) enter the murine bloodstream via EVs for systemic circulation. vsiRNAs in the EVs are biologically active, since they confer RNA-RNA homology-dependent antiviral activity in both cultured cells and infant mice. Moreover, we demonstrate that vaccination with a live-attenuated virus, rendered deficient in RNAi suppression, induces production of stably maintained vsiRNAs and confers protective immunity against virus infection in mice. This suggests that vaccination with live-attenuated VSR (viral suppressor of RNAi)-deficient mutant viruses could be a new strategy to induce immunity.

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