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Drosophila cells use nanotube-like structures to transfer dsRNA and RNAi machinery between cells.

Abstract : Tunnelling nanotubes and cytonemes function as highways for the transport of organelles, cytosolic and membrane-bound molecules, and pathogens between cells. During viral infection in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, a systemic RNAi antiviral response is established presumably through the transport of a silencing signal from one cell to another via an unknown mechanism. Because of their role in cell-cell communication, we investigated whether nanotube-like structures could be a mediator of the silencing signal. Here, we describe for the first time in the context of a viral infection the presence of nanotube-like structures in different Drosophila cell types. These tubules, made of actin and tubulin, were associated with components of the RNAi machinery, including Argonaute 2, double-stranded RNA, and CG4572. Moreover, they were more abundant during viral, but not bacterial, infection. Super resolution structured illumination microscopy showed that Argonaute 2 and tubulin reside inside the tubules. We propose that nanotube-like structures are one of the mechanisms by which Argonaute 2, as part of the antiviral RNAi machinery, is transported between infected and non-infected cells to trigger systemic antiviral immunity in Drosophila.
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Contributor : Brigitte Bidault <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 6, 2016 - 3:45:48 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 12:22:02 PM

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Margot Karlikow, Bertsy Goic, Vanesa Mongelli, Audrey Salles, Christine Schmitt, et al.. Drosophila cells use nanotube-like structures to transfer dsRNA and RNAi machinery between cells.. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6, pp.27085. ⟨10.1038/srep27085⟩. ⟨pasteur-01327270⟩

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