Digesting the crisis: autophagy and coronaviruses.

Carmona-Gutierrez D, Bauer MA, Zimmermann A, Kainz K, Hofer SJ, Kroemer G, Madeo F

Microb Cell 7 (5) 119-128 [2020-05-04; online 2020-05-04]

Autophagy is a catabolic pathway with multifaceted roles in cellular homeostasis. This process is also involved in the antiviral response at multiple levels, including the direct elimination of intruding viruses (virophagy), the presentation of viral antigens, the fitness of immune cells, and the inhibition of excessive inflammatory reactions. In line with its central role in immunity, viruses have evolved mechanisms to interfere with or to evade the autophagic process, and in some cases, even to harness autophagy or constituents of the autophagic machinery for their replication. Given the devastating consequences of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the question arises whether manipulating autophagy might be an expedient approach to fight the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In this piece, we provide a short overview of the evidence linking autophagy to coronaviruses and discuss whether such links may provide actionable targets for therapeutic interventions.

Type: Review

PubMed 32391393

DOI 10.15698/mic2020.05.715

Crossref 10.15698/mic2020.05.715

pii: MIC0270E122
pmc: PMC7199282

Publications 7.1.2