Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2015 Aug;13(8):461-9. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro3469. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Viral apoptotic mimicry.

Author information

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U944 and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7212, Laboratoire de Pathologie et Virologie Moléculaire, Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Hôpital Saint-Louis, 1 avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France.
Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


As opportunistic pathogens, viruses have evolved many elegant strategies to manipulate host cells for infectious entry and replication. Viral apoptotic mimicry, defined by the exposure of phosphatidylserine - a marker for apoptosis - on the pathogen surface, is emerging as a common theme used by enveloped viruses to promote infection. Focusing on the four best described examples (vaccinia virus, dengue virus, Ebola virus and pseudotyped lentivirus), we summarize our current understanding of apoptotic mimicry as a mechanism for virus entry, binding and immune evasion. We also describe recent examples of non-enveloped viruses that use this mimicry strategy, and discuss future directions and how viral apoptotic mimicry could be targeted therapeutically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center