Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have received tremendous attention because of their potential applications in regenerative medicine. Over the past two decades, intensive research has not only led to the generation of various types of cells from ESCs that can be potentially used for the treatment of human diseases but also led to the formation of new concepts and breakthroughs that have significantly impacted our understanding of basic cell biology and developmental biology. Recent studies have revealed that ESCs and other types of pluripotent cells do not have a functional interferon (IFN)-based anti-viral mechanism, challenging the idea that the IFN system is developed as the central component of anti-viral innate immunity in all types of cells in vertebrates. This finding also provided important insight into a question that has been uncertain for a long time: whether or not the RNA interference (RNAi) anti-viral mechanism operates in mammalian cells. An emerging paradigm is that mammals may have adapted distinct anti-viral mechanisms at different stages of organismal development; the IFN-based system is mainly used by differentiated somatic cells, while the RNAi anti-viral mechanism may be used in ESCs. This paper discusses the molecular basis and biological implications for mammals to have different anti-viral mechanisms during development.
Immunology & Cell Biology
(2017). Utilization of Different Anti-Viral Mechanisms By Mammalian Embryonic Stem Cells and Differentiated Cells. Immunology & Cell Biology, 95(1), 17-23.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/14952