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Curr Pharm Des. 2008;14(3):198-220.

Viral manipulation of cell death.

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Department of Biology, Queens College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York 11367, USA.


Elucidation of the mechanisms behind cell death has brought with it an appreciation for viral strategies that target these pathways as a means to promote viral propagation while avoiding or slowing the host immune response. Several redundant anti-viral pathways have evolved in eukaryotic cells that are designed to minimize the damage due to viral infection while quickly clearing the invading pathogen. Cell death is a commonly employed immune defense against viral infection, and many viruses potently induce or suppress cell death during infection. The past decade has seen an incredible increase in our understanding of how cell death assists in host immune response, as well as how viruses have evolved to hijack or disengage these systems. By targeting components of host cell death pathways, viruses have developed the ability to control host survival and death, ensuring efficient propagation while inactivating or avoiding the immune system consequences of infection. This review focuses on the most recent and important advances in our understanding of how a wide range of viruses manipulate the survival and death of their hosts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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