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Autophagy. 2007 Nov-Dec;3(6):581-5. Epub 2007 Jul 24.

Coronavirus replication does not require the autophagy gene ATG5.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


Macroautophagy (herein autophagy) is a cellular process, requiring ATG5, by which cells deliver double membrane-bound packets containing cytoplasm or cytoplasmic organelles to the lysosome. This process has been reported in some cases to be antiviral, while in other cases it has been reported to be required for efficient viral replication or release. A role for autophagy in RNA virus replication has been an attractive hypothesis because of the association of RNA virus replication with complex membrane rearrangements in the cytoplasm that can generate opposed double membranes. In this study we demonstrate that ATG5 is not required for murine hepatitis virus (MHV) replication n either bone marrow derived macrophages (BMMphi) lacking ATG5 by virtue of Crerecombinase ediated gene deletion or primary low passage murine ATG5(-/-) embryonic ibroblasts (pMEFs). We conclude that neither ATG5 nor an intact autophagic pathway re required for MHV replication or release.

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