RNA-based antiviral immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Sep;10(9):632-44. doi: 10.1038/nri2824. Epub 2010 Aug 13.


In eukaryotic RNA-based antiviral immunity, viral double-stranded RNA is recognized as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern and processed into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) by the host ribonuclease Dicer. After amplification by host RNA-dependent RNA polymerases in some cases, these virus-derived siRNAs guide specific antiviral immunity through RNA interference and related RNA silencing effector mechanisms. Here, I review recent studies on the features of viral siRNAs and other virus-derived small RNAs from virus-infected fungi, plants, insects, nematodes and vertebrates and discuss the innate and adaptive properties of RNA-based antiviral immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / immunology*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / genetics
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA, Viral