SAGA complex mediates the transcriptional up-regulation of antiviral RNA silencing

Andika Ida Bagus, Atif Jamal, Hideki Kondo, Nobuhiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Pathogen recognition and transcriptional activation of defenserelated genes are crucial steps in cellular defense responses. RNA silencing (RNAi) functions as an antiviral defense in eukaryotic organisms. Several RNAi-related genes are known to be transcriptionally up-regulated upon virus infection in some host organisms, but little is known about their inductionmechanism. A phytopathogenic ascomycete, Cryphonectria parasitica (chestnut blight fungus), provides a particularly advantageous system to study RNAi activation, because its infection by certain RNA viruses induces the transcription of dicer-like 2 (dcl2) and argonaute-like 2 (agl2), twomajor RNAi players. To identify cellular factors governing activation of antiviral RNAi in C. parasitica, we developed a screening protocol entailing multiple transformations of the fungus with cDNA of a hypovirus mutant lacking the RNAi suppressor (CHV1-Δp69), a reporter construct with a GFP gene driven by the dcl2 promoter, and a random mutagenic construct. Screening for GFP-negative colonies allowed the identification of sgf73, a component of the SAGA (Spt-Ada-Gcn5 acetyltransferase) complex, a well-known transcriptional coactivator. Knockout of other SAGA components showed that the histone acetyltransferase module regulates transcriptional induction of dcl2 and agl2, whereas histone deubiquitinase mediates regulation of agl2 but not dcl2. Interestingly, full-scale induction of agl2 and dcl2 by CHV1-Δp69 required both DCL2 and AGL2, whereas that by another RNA virus, mycoreovirus 1, required only DCL2, uncovering additional roles for DCL2 and AGL2 in viral recognition and/or RNAi activation. Overall, these results provide insight into the mechanism of RNAi activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3499-E3506
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2017


  • Antiviral defense
  • Cryphonectria parasitica
  • Hypovirus
  • Mycovirus
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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