Investigating the scope of dsRNAi in human cells
Long dsRNA is produced by viruses during their replicative cycle. In plants and invertebrates, long dsRNAs block crucial cellular processes through RNA interference (RNAi). In vertebrates, long dsRNA is a potent inducer of critical signaling proteins that regulate antiviral immune responses. Although the RNAi system is conserved in vertebrates, there is little evidence to suggest that it plays a major role in antiviral defense. Moreover, it remains unclear whether long dsRNA can function as a template for RNAi (dsRNAi) in vertebrates. The proposed project aims to determine what human cell types are capable of using long dsRNA for RNAi and test this mechanism for novel therapeutic applications in the human cells.