Selective autophagy and viruses

Rhea Sumpter, Beth Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


In recent years, the process of selective autophagy has received much attention with respect to the clearance of protein aggregates, damaged mitochondria and bacteria. However, until recently, there have been virtually no studies on the selective autophagy of viruses, although they are perhaps one of the most ubiquitous unwanted constituents in human cells. Recently, we have shown that the ability of neuronal Atg5 to protect against lethal Sindbis virus central nervous system (CNS) infection in mice is associated with impaired viral capsid clearance, increased p62 accumulation and increased neuronal cell death. In vitro, we showed that p62 interacts with the Sindbis capsid protein and targets it for degradation in autophagosomes. Herein, we review these findings and broadly speculate about potential roles of selective viral autophagy in the regulation of host immunity and viral pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Autophagy
  • Capsid
  • Sindbis
  • Virus
  • p62

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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