Long dsRNAs promote an anti-viral response in Pacific oyster hampering ostreid herpesvirus 1 replication

Abstract : Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated genetic interference (RNAi) is a widely used reverse genetic tool for determining the loss-of-function phenotype of a gene. Here, the possible induction of an immune response by long dsRNA was tested in a marine bivalve (Crassostrea gigas), as well as the specific role of the subunit 2 of the nuclear factor κB inhibitor (IκB2). This gene is a candidate of particular interest for functional investigations in the context of oyster mass mortality events, as Cg-IκB2 mRNA levels exhibited significant variation depending on the amount of ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) DNA detected. In the present study, dsRNAs targeting Cg-IκB2 and green fluorescent protein genes were injected in vivo into oysters before being challenged by OsHV-1. Survival appeared close to 100% in both dsRNA-injected conditions associated with a low detection of viral DNA and a low expression of a panel of 39 OsHV-1 genes as compared with infected control. Long dsRNA molecules, both Cg-IκB2-and GFP-dsRNA, may have induced an anti-viral state controlling the OsHV-1 replication and precluding the understanding of the specific role of Cg-IκB2. Immune-related genes including Cg-IκB1, Cg-Rel1, Cg-IFI44, Cg-PKR and Cg-IAP appeared activated in the dsRNA-injected condition, potentially hampering viral replication and thus conferring a better resistance to OsHV-1 infection. We revealed that long dsRNA-mediated genetic interference triggered an anti-viral state in the oyster, emphasizing the need for new reverse genetics tools for assessing immune gene function and avoiding off-target effects in bivalves.
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Marianna Pauletto, Ameíie Segarra, Caroline Montagnani, Virgile Quillien, Nicole Faury, et al.. Long dsRNAs promote an anti-viral response in Pacific oyster hampering ostreid herpesvirus 1 replication. Journal of Experimental Biology, Cambridge University Press, 2017, 220 (20), pp.3671 - 3685. ⟨10.1242/jeb.156299⟩. ⟨hal-01632365⟩

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