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Curr Opin Immunol. 2008 Feb;20(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 Feb 8.

Autophagy and antiviral immunity.

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Department of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Autophagy is an ancient pathway designed to maintain cellular homeostasis by degrading long-lived proteins and organelles in the cytosol. Recent studies demonstrate that autophagy is utilized by the cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems to combat viral infections. Autophagy plays a key role in recognizing signatures of viral infection, and represents a critical effector mechanism to restrict viral replication. On the other hand, autophagosomes have been exploited by certain viruses as a niche for viral replication. Furthermore, autophagy can be used to deliver endogenous viral antigens to the MHC class II loading compartment, allowing activation of CD4 T cells. In this review, we describe recent advances in the field of autophagy as it relates to innate and adaptive antiviral immune responses.

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