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Virologie ; 26(2):111, 2022.
Article in French | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1913051


The interferon (IFN) response is a critical arm of the innate immune response and a major host defense mechanism against viral infections. Numerous genes that contribute to this antiviral state remain to be identified and characterized. Using large-scale loss-of-function strategies, we screened siRNAs or gRNAs libraries targeting hundreds of IFNstimulated genes (ISGs) in IFN-treated cells infected with human RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, Zika virus or tick-borne encephalitis virus. We recovered previously unrecognized human genes able to modulate the replication of these RNA viruses in an IFN-dependent manner. For instance, we identified the chromatin remodeling protein MTA2 as a potent flavivirus-specific antiviral factor. Mechanistic studies to decipher the molecular mechanisms by which these novel antiviral genes are functioning are on-going. We are also expanding our studies to the identification and characterization of ISGs in animal species that serve as viral reservoirs, such as bats. Our work should open new perspectives to target weakness points in the life cycle of these emerging RNA viruses.

Virologie ; 26(2):120, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1912931


Establishment of the interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral state provides a crucial initial line of defense against viral infection. Numerous genes that contribute to this antiviral state remain to be identified. Using a loss-of-function strategy, we screened an original library of 1156 siRNAs targeting 386 individual curated human genes in stimulated microglial cells infected with Zika virus (ZIKV), an emerging RNA virus that belongs to the flavivirus genus. The screen recovered twenty-one potential host proteins that modulate ZIKV replication in an IFN-dependent manner, including the previously known IFITM3 and LY6E. Further characterization contributed to delineate the spectrum of action of these genes towards other pathogenic RNA viruses, including Hepatitis C virus and SARS-CoV-2. Our data revealed that APOL3 acts as a proviral factor for ZIKV and several other related and unrelated RNA viruses. In addition, we showed that MTA2, a chromatin remodeling factor, possesses potent flavivirus-specific antiviral functions. We are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms behind IFN-dependent flaviviral restriction of MTA2. Our work identified previously unrecognized genes that modulate the replication of RNA viruses in an IFN-dependent way, opening new perspectives to target weakness points in the life cycle of these viruses.