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December 2022

Dr. Silveman, along with collaborators from the Duke University School of Medicine and the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, recently had their work, “Retrotransposon Activation During Drosophila Metamorphosis Conditions Adult Antiviral Responses,” published in Nature Genetics. 

Retrotransposons are a mobile genetic element that is abundant in the genomes of almost all animals. Dr. Silverman and the co-authors of this study reported that within a specific time window of development, retrotransposon activation can prepare the host’s immune system for future antiviral responses. The Gypsy retrotransposon selectively becomes active during metamorphosis at the Drosophila pupal stage and induces the systemic antiviral function through dSTING and the nuclear factor-κB protein Relish. Consequently, adult flies with Gypsy, Relish, or dSTING silenced at the pupal stage are unable to clear exogenous viruses and succumb to viral infection. The authors conclude that hosts can establish a protective antiviral response with a long-term benefit due to the developmental activation of mobile genetic elements. Read more. 

Previous headlines

October 2022: Scientists in the Silverman Lab, Program in Innate Immunity publish new findings on the role of transporter SLC46A2 on psoriatic skin inflammation. Read more.

July 2022: We are thrilled that campus life has started to return to normal and we are able to welcome interns back to our lab this summer, for the first time since 2019! Joining us in the Silverman Lab are Tess Keppel and Zubin Nawab. 

March 2022: Researchers in the Silverman lab have published novel study “Leishmania amazonensis sabotages host cell SUMOylation for intracellular survival” New findings in pre-print on bioRxiv

August 2021: Dr. Silverman received competing renewal for the NIH-funded T32 training grant: Innate Immunity Training Program (IITP) at UMass Medical School, for which he is the Program Director. Learn more about the IITP.