Author(s): He Y, Zhang X
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Abstract Guided by miRNAs, RNAi plays an important role in virus-host interactions by fine-tuning gene expression. Many viral and cellular miRNAs are involved in virus infection, though no comprehensive general model for miRNAs derived from invertebrate DNA viruses exists for their function in eukaryotic systems, despite extensive research on miRNAs. To address this issue, the miRNAs from shrimp white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), a DNA virus with a 305 kb double-stranded circular DNA genome, were characterized. Based on WSSV miRNA microarray and northern blot analyses, WSSV was shown to possess the capacity to encode 40 distinct viral miRNAs, a miRNA content roughly 360 times greater than that of humans. These findings suggested that the high content of viral miRNAs might greatly contribute to viral variability in response selective pressures in the host environment. Transcription analysis revealed that 80\% of WSSV miRNAs were expressed during early stages of viral infection, indicating their importance in initial infective processes. Additionally, biogenesis of viral miRNAs was demonstrated to be dependent on host Drosha and Dicer 1, mediated by Ago 1, and viral miRNAs, including WSSV-miR211 and WSSV-miR212, were required for successful WSSV infection. During WSSV infection, numerous viral genes were likely targeted by WSSV miRNAs. The current study presented the first comprehensive view of viral miRNAs encoded by an invertebrate DNA virus, providing insight into the molecular events of virus-host interactions.
This article was published in RNA Biol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development