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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is normally present at thousands of copies per cell and is packaged into several hundred higher-order structures termed nucleoids. The abundant mtDNA-binding protein TFAM (transcription factor A, mitochondrial) regulates nucleoid architecture, abundance and segregation. Complete mtDNA depletion profoundly impairs oxidative… (More)
Zika virus (ZIKV) can be transmitted sexually between humans. However, it is unknown whether ZIKV replicates in the vagina and impacts the unborn fetus. Here, we establish a mouse model of vaginal ZIKV infection and demonstrate that, unlike other routes, ZIKV replicates within the genital mucosa even in wild-type (WT) mice. Mice lacking RNA sensors or… (More)
Type III interferon (IFN-λ) exhibits potent antiviral activity similar to IFN-α/β, but in contrast to the ubiquitous expression of the IFN-α/β receptor, the IFN-λ receptor is restricted to cells of epithelial origin. Despite the importance of IFN-λ in tissue-specific antiviral immunity, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this confined receptor… (More)
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), a leading cause of genital herpes, infects oral or genital mucosal epithelial cells before infecting the peripheral sensory nervous system. The spread of HSV-1 beyond the sensory nervous system and the resulting broader spectrum of disease are not well understood. Using a mouse model of genital herpes, we found that… (More)
Autophagy is a well-known cell-intrinsic antiviral defense mechanism. Two new studies published in this issue of Cell Host & Microbe (Lu et al., 2016; Park et al., 2016) demonstrate that deletion of autophagy in myeloid cells leads paradoxically to better control of viral infection in vivo through enhanced inflammation, leading to antiviral resistance.