Pascal Miesen

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The siRNA pathway is an essential antiviral mechanism in insects. Whether other RNA interference pathways are involved in antiviral defense remains unclear. Here, we report in cells derived from the two main vectors for arboviruses, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, the production of viral small RNAs that exhibit the hallmarks of ping-pong derived(More)
Individual microRNAs (miRNAs) are rapidly down-regulated during conditions of cellular activation and infection, but factors mediating miRNA turnover are poorly understood. Infection of mouse cells with murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) induces the rapid down-regulation of an antiviral cellular miRNA, miR-27. Here, we identify a transcript produced by MCMV that(More)
Flaviviruses, such as Zika virus, yellow fever virus, dengue virus, and West Nile virus (WNV), are a serious concern for human health. Flaviviruses produce an abundant noncoding subgenomic flavivirus RNA (sfRNA) in infected cells. sfRNA results from stalling of the host 5'-3' exoribonuclease XRN1/Pacman on conserved RNA structures in the 3' untranslated(More)
Vector mosquitoes are responsible for transmission of the majority of arthropod-borne (arbo-) viruses. Virus replication in these vectors needs to be sufficiently high to permit efficient virus transfer to vertebrate hosts. The mosquito immune response therefore is a key determinant for arbovirus transmission. Mosquito antiviral immunity is primarily(More)
The piRNA pathway is of key importance in controlling transposable elements in most animal species. In the vector mosquito Aedes aegypti, the presence of eight PIWI proteins and the accumulation of viral piRNAs upon arbovirus infection suggest additional functions of the piRNA pathway beyond genome defense. To better understand the regulatory potential of(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a ubiquitous component of gene regulatory networks that modulate the precise amounts of proteins expressed in a cell. Despite their small size, miRNA genes contain various recognition elements that enable specificity in when, where and to what extent they are expressed. The importance of precise control of miRNA expression is(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is a crucial antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including the major mosquito species that transmit important human viruses. To counteract the potent antiviral RNAi pathway, insect viruses encode RNAi suppressors. However, whether mosquito-specific viruses suppress RNAi remains unclear. We therefore set out to study RNAi(More)
The PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway is essential for transposon silencing in many model organisms. Its remarkable efficiency relies on a sophisticated amplification mechanism known as the ping-pong loop. In Alphavirus-infected Aedes mosquitoes, piRNAs with sequence features that suggest ping-pong-dependent biogenesis are produced from viral RNA. The(More)
Originating from Africa, Usutu virus (USUV) first emerged in Europe in 2001. This mosquito-borne flavivirus caused high mortality rates in its bird reservoirs, which strongly resembled the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) in 1999 in the United States. Mosquitoes infected with USUV incidentally transmit the virus to other vertebrates, including humans,(More)
The antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) pathway processes viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into viral small interfering RNAs (vsiRNA) that guide the recognition and cleavage of complementary viral target RNAs. In RNA virus infections, viral replication intermediates, dsRNA genomes or viral structured RNAs have been implicated as Dicer-2 substrates. In a(More)