Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22292064
PLoS ONE 2012;7(1):e30861
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 piwi-associated RNAs (piRNAs) after infection with positive or negative sense RNA viruses. Furthermore, these cells produce endogenous piRNAs that mapped to transposable elements. Our results show that these mosquito cells can initiate de novo piRNA production and recapitulate the ping-pong dependent piRNA pathway upon viral infection. The mechanism of viral-piRNA production is discussed.