The evolving world of small RNAs from RNA viruses

Mei Ling Li, Kuo Feng Weng, Shin Ru Shih, Gary Brewer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

24 Scopus citations


RNA virus infection in plants and invertebrates can produce virus-derived small RNAs. These RNAs share features with host endogenous small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). They can potentially mediate RNA interference (RNAi) and related RNA silencing pathways, resulting in specific antiviral defense. Although most RNA silencing components such as Dicer, Ago2, and RISC are conserved among eukaryotic hosts, whether RNA virus infection in mammals can generate functional small RNAs that act in antiviral defense remains under discussion. Here, we review recent studies on the molecular and biochemical features of viral siRNAs and other virus-derived small RNAs from infected plants, arthropods, nematodes, and vertebrates and discuss the genetic pathways for their biogenesis and their roles in antiviral activity. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:575–588. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1351. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-588
Number of pages14
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA
Issue number5
StatePublished - 01 09 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolving world of small RNAs from RNA viruses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this