In their recent study, researchers from Zhejiang University observed viral infection (white spot syndrome virus, WSSV) correlated positively with the host autophagy in shrimp. Two host miRNAs (miR-71 and -13b) had significant effects on viral infection and host autophagy. MiR-71 regulated the viral infection and host autophagy by targeting the host calcification-associated peptide-1 (cap-1) gene. MiR-13b targeted the host knickkopf gene to simultaneously regulate viral infection and host autophagy. When the expressions of miR-71 and -13b were silenced in shrimp, the autophagy could not be induced by WSSV infection and the autophagy induction did not influence the virus replication, indicating that miR-71 and -13b were necessary for the viral infection and host autophagy.
In this context, the findings of this study revealed a novel mechanism of miRNAs bridging the viral infection and host autophagy in vivo.