It has been recognized that macroautophagy constitutes an important survival mechanism that allows both the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and the regulation of programmed cell death pathways (e.g., apoptosis). Although several pathogens have been described to induce autophagy, the prosurvival function of this process in infectious models remains poorly characterized. Our recent studies on chikungunya virus (CHIKV), the causative agent of major epidemics in India, Southeast Asia and southern Europe, reveal a novel mechanism by which autophagy limits the cytopathic effects of CHIKV by impinging upon virus-induced cell death pathways.
PE Joubert, SW Werneke, C de la Calle, F Guivel-Benhassine, A Giodini, L Peduto, et al. Chikungunya virus-induced autophagy delays caspase-dependent cell death. J Exp Med 2012; 209: 1029- 47.
PMID: 22508836 DOI: 10.1084/jem.20110996