Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Genetics Characterization of Antiviral RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis elegans
by Zhong, Jing, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2014, 141; 3644055
Abstract (Summary)

RNA interference (RNAi) acts as an antiviral defense mechanism in fungi, plants, nematodes, insects, and mammals. In antiviral RNAi, virus-specific double-stranded RNA is processed into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to guide specific viral RNA degradation by the RNAi machinery. Although antiviral RNAi is non cell-autonomous in plants, it is unknown if antiviral RNAi is also systemic in animals. In this dissertation, I characterized the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans mutants defective in systemic RNAi in their antiviral RNAi response induced by either the replication of a Flock house virus-derived replicon or the infection of Orsay virus. The results from these genetic studies provided evidence for the first time to support an antiviral function of systemic RNAi in animals. Comparison of the population of viral siRNAs by deep sequencing further revealed that C. elegans mutants with strong defects in systemic antiviral RNAi were all partially defective in the biogenesis of the viral secondary siRNAs. A possible role for the viral siRNAs in systemic antiviral RNAi is discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ding, Shou-wei
Commitee: Maduro, Morris, Rao, A.L.N
School: University of California, Riverside
Department: Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Molecular biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry
Keywords: Antiviral, Caenorhabditis elegans, RNAi, Virus
Publication Number: 3644055
ISBN: 9781321321029
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