Autophagy, antiviral immunity, and viral countermeasures

Sanae Shoji-Kawata, Beth Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The autophagy pathway likely evolved not only to maintain cellular and tissue homeostasis but also to protect cells against microbial attack. This conserved mechanism by which cytoplasmic cargo is delivered to the endolysosomal system is now recognized as a central player in coordinating the host response to diverse intracellular pathogens, including viruses. As an endolysosomal delivery system, autophagy functions in the transfer of viruses from the cytoplasm to the lysosome where they are degraded, in the transfer of viral nucleic acids to endosomal sensors for the activation of innate immunity, and in the transfer of endogenous viral antigens to MHC class II compartments for the activation of adaptive immunity. Viruses have, in turn, evolved different strategies to antagonize, and potentially, to exploit the host autophagic machinery. Moreover, through mechanisms not yet well understood, autophagy may dampen host innate immune and inflammatory responses to viral infection. This review highlights the roles of autophagy in antiviral immunity, viral strategies to evade autophagy, and potential negative feedback functions of autophagy in the host antiviral response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1484
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Autophagy
  • Immunity
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Autophagy, antiviral immunity, and viral countermeasures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this