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Front Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Nov 19;6:155. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2018.00155. eCollection 2018.

Autophagy-Virus Interplay: From Cell Biology to Human Disease.

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Department of Virology, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
MRC Centre of Molecular Bacteriology and Infection (CMBI), Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Immunology and Infection, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
Department of Paediatrics, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Autophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation process that targets protein aggregates and damaged organelles. Autophagy is also implicated in numerous viral infections, including human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1), influenza A (IAV) and herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Depending on the virus, autophagy can restrict or promote viral replication, and play key roles in modulating inflammation and cell survival. In this review, we consider examples of autophagy-virus interplay, highlighting the protective role of autophagy in human infections. We summarize recent discoveries and emerging themes illuminating autophagy's role in immunity and inflammation upon viral infection. Finally, we discuss future prospects and therapeutic implications, and potential caveats associated with using autophagy to control viral infections in humans.


HIV-1; HSV-1; IAV; autophagy; inflammation; viral immunity

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