AMPK-inhibition of mTORC1 signaling is required for dengue virus-induced lipophagy.

Tristan X. Jordan and Glenn Randall.

J Virol. 91(11):e02020-16. 15/03/2017

PMID: 28298606


Robust dengue virus (DENV) replication requires lipophagy, a selective autophagy that targets lipid droplets. The autophagic mobilization of lipids leads to increased β-oxidation in DENV-infected cells. The mechanism by which DENV induces lipophagy is unknown. Here, we show that infection with DENV activates the metabolic regulator 5′ adenosine-monophosphate activated kinase (AMPK), and that the silencing or pharmacological inhibition of AMPK activity decreases DENV replication and the induction of lipophagy. The activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) decreases in DENV-infected cells and is inversely correlated with lipophagy induction. Constitutive activation of mTORC1 by depletion of tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC2) inhibits lipophagy induction in DENV-infected cells and decreases viral replication. While AMPK normally stimulates TSC2-dependent inactivation of mTORC1 signaling, mTORC1 inactivation is independent of AMPK activation during DENV infection. Thus, DENV stimulates and requires AMPK signaling as well as AMPK-independent suppression of mTORC1 activity for proviral lipophagy.