Influenza A virus NS1 protein has been shown to suppress RNA interference (RNAi) in plants and Drosophila. Although it has not been demonstrated experimentally, NS1 has also been thought to inhibit RNAi in mammals as well as being an antagonist of interferon. In this study, the influence of NS1 protein from influenza virus strain A/WSN/33 on RNAi in mammalian cells was investigated. While transiently or stably expressed NS1 was fully competent to inhibit the interferon pathway in cultured cells, it did not suppress RNAi-mediated silencing of different reporter genes. These findings imply a significant difference in RNAi mechanism between mammals and plants.
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