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Viruses. 2013 Dec 16;5(12):3192-212. doi: 10.3390/v5123192.

Make yourself at home: viral hijacking of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

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Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Institut für Virologie, Universitätsstraße 1, Düsseldorf 40225, Germany.


As viruses do not possess genes encoding for proteins required for translation, energy metabolism or membrane biosynthesis, they are classified as obligatory intracellular parasites that depend on a host cell to replicate. This genome limitation forces them to gain control over cellular processes to ensure their successful propagation. A diverse spectrum of virally encoded proteins tackling a broad spectrum of cellular pathways during most steps of the viral life cycle ranging from the host cell entry to viral protein translation has evolved. Since the host cell PI3K/Akt signaling pathway plays a critical regulatory role in many cellular processes including RNA processing, translation, autophagy and apoptosis, many viruses, in widely varying ways, target it. This review focuses on a number of remarkable examples of viral strategies, which exploit the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway for effective viral replication.

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