RNA interference is a mechanism that enables the production of virus-derived RNA of small sizes of around 21 nucleotides. These small RNAs (RNAi) will be used as guides by the AGO2 protein (Argonaute family of proteins) in order to specifically target the viral RNAs in order to neutralize them. We are interested in understanding three stages of antiviral immunity:
- How are viruses recognized by Dicer-2 exonuclease?
- What are antiviral complexes versus RNA interference?
- What are the dynamics of antiviral immunity in vivo?
The team consists of a permanent member of the University of Strasbourg (Carine Meignin, University Professor), working with two doctoral students and an engineer assistant.
In addition, since 2012, we have been collaborating with the group of J. Marques (Belo-Horizonte – Brazil). This collaboration allows us to extend our work to vector insects such as the Aedes mosquito which transmits viruses such as Dengue or Chikungunya to humans.
Key words: Drosophila melanogaster, virus, innate immunity, viral RNAs, nucleic acid receptors, small RNAs, RNA interference, selective translation.