Manipulation or capitulation: virus interactions with autophagy

Tristan X Jordan and Glenn Randall

Microbes Infect. 14(2):126-39. 28/02/2012

PMID: 22051604


Autophagy is a homeostatic process that functions to balance cellular metabolism and promote cell survival during stressful conditions by delivering cytoplasmic components for lysosomal degradation and subsequent recycling. During viral infection, autophagy can act as a surveillance mechanism that delivers viral antigens to the endosomal/lysosomal compartments that are enriched in immune sensors. Additionally, activated immune sensors can signal to activate autophagy. To evade this antiviral activity, many viruses elaborate functions to block the autophagy pathway at a variety of steps. Alternatively, some viruses actively subvert autophagy for their own benefit. Manipulated autophagy has been proposed to facilitate nearly every stage of the viral lifecycle in direct and indirect ways. In this review, we synthesize the extensive literature on virus-autophagy interactions, emphasizing the role of autophagy in antiviral immunity and the mechanisms by which viruses subvert autophagy for their own benefit.