Send to

Choose Destination
Protoplasma. 2012 Jul;249(3):519-28. doi: 10.1007/s00709-011-0327-9. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Virus manipulation of cell cycle.

Author information

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Oeiras, Portugal.


Viruses depend on host cell resources for replication and access to those resources may be limited to a particular phase of the cell cycle. Thus manipulation of cell cycle is a commonly employed strategy of viruses for achieving a favorable cellular environment. For example, viruses capable of infecting nondividing cells induce S phase in order to activate the host DNA replication machinery and provide the nucleotide triphosphates necessary for viral DNA replication (Flemington in J Virol 75:4475-4481, 2001; Sullivan and Pipas in Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 66:179-202, 2002). Viruses have developed several strategies to subvert the cell cycle by association with cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase complexes and molecules that regulate their activity. Viruses tend to act on cellular proteins involved in a network of interactions in a way that minimal protein-protein interactions lead to a major effect. The complex and interactive nature of intracellular signaling pathways controlling cell division affords many opportunities for virus manipulation strategies. Taking the maxim "Set a thief to catch a thief" as a counter strategy, however, provides us with the very same virus evasion strategies as "ready-made tools" for the development of novel antivirus therapeutics. The most obvious are attenuated virus vaccines with critical evasion genes deleted. Similarly, vaccines against viruses causing cancer are now being successfully developed. Finally, as viruses have been playing chess with our cell biology and immune responses for millions of years, the study of their evasion strategies will also undoubtedly reveal new control mechanisms and their corresponding cellular intracellular signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center