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Impact of cellular autophagy on viruses: Insights from hepatitis B virus and human retroviruses

Sai-Wen Tang1, Aurelie Ducroux2, Kuan-Teh Jeang1* and Christine Neuveut2*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular Virology Section, Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-0460, USA

2 Laboratory of Hepacivirus and Innate Immunity, Institut Pasteur, 75015, Paris, France

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Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:92  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-92

Published: 30 October 2012


Autophagy is a protein degradative process important for normal cellular metabolism. It is apparently used also by cells to eliminate invading pathogens. Interestingly, many pathogens have learned to subvert the cell’s autophagic process. Here, we review the interactions between viruses and cells in regards to cellular autophagy. Using findings from hepatitis B virus and human retroviruses, HIV-1 and HTLV-1, we discuss mechanisms used by viruses to usurp cellular autophagy in ways that benefit viral replication.