The Aedes aegypti Domino Ortholog p400 Regulates Antiviral Exogenous Small Interfering RNA Pathway Activity and ago-2 Expression

Melanie McFarlane, Floriane Almire, Joy Kean, Claire L Donald, Alma McDonald, Bryan Wee, Mathilde Lauréti, Margus Varjak, Sandra Terry, Marie Vazeille, Rommel J Gestuveo, Isabelle Dietrich, Colin Loney, Anna-Bella Failloux, Esther Schnettler, Emilie Pondeville, Alain Kohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arboviruses are pathogens of humans and animals. A better understanding of the interactions between these pathogens and the arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, that transmit them is necessary to develop novel control measures. A major antiviral pathway in the mosquito vector is the exogenous small interfering RNA (exo-siRNA) pathway, which is induced by arbovirus-derived double-stranded RNA in infected cells. Although recent work has shown the key role played by Argonaute-2 (Ago-2) and Dicer-2 (Dcr-2) in this pathway, the regulatory mechanisms that govern these pathways have not been studied in mosquitoes. Here, we show that the Domino ortholog p400 has antiviral activity against the alphavirus Semliki Forest virus (Togaviridae) both in Aedes aegypti-derived cells and in vivo Antiviral activity of p400 was also demonstrated against chikungunya virus (Togaviridae) and Bunyamwera virus (Peribunyaviridae) but not Zika virus (Flaviviridae). p400 was found to be expressed across mosquito tissues and regulated ago-2 but not dcr-2 transcript levels in A. aegypti mosquitoes. These findings provide novel insights into the regulation of an important aedine exo-siRNA pathway effector protein, Ago-2, by the Domino ortholog p400. They add functional insights to previous observations of this protein's antiviral and RNA interference regulatory activities in Drosophila melanogasterIMPORTANCE Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are vectors of human-infecting arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). In recent decades, the incidence of arthropod-borne viral infections has grown dramatically. Vector competence is influenced by many factors, including the mosquito's antiviral defenses. The exogenous small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway is a major antiviral response restricting arboviruses in mosquitoes. While the roles of the effectors of this pathway, Argonaute-2 and Dicer-2 are well characterized, nothing is known about its regulation in mosquitoes. In this study, we demonstrate that A. aegypti p400, whose ortholog Domino in Drosophila melanogaster is a chromatin-remodeling ATPase member of the Tip60 complex, regulates siRNA pathway activity and controls ago-2 expression levels. In addition, we found p400 to have antiviral activity against different arboviruses. Therefore, our study provides new insights into the regulation of the antiviral response in A. aegypti mosquitoes.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2020


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