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Efficient RNA virus control in Drosophila requires the RNA methyltransferase Dnmt2.

ABSTRACT

Drosophila use small-interfering RNA mechanisms to limit the amplification of viral genomes. However, it is unclear how small RNA interference components recognize and separate viral from cellular RNA. Dnmt2 enzymes are highly conserved RNA methyltransferases with substrate specificity towards cellular tRNAs. We report here that Dnmt2 is required for efficient innate immune responses in Drosophila. Dnmt2 mutant flies accumulate increasing levels of Drosophila C virus and show activated innate immune responses. Binding of Dnmt2 to DCV RNA suggests that Dnmt2 contributes to virus control directly, possibly by RNA methylation. These observations demonstrate a role for Dnmt2 in antiviral defence.