Autophagy in Virus Infection: A Race between Host Immune Response and Viral Antagonism

Karan Chawla, Gayatri Subramanian, Tia Rahman, Shumin Fan, Sukanya Chakravarty, Shreyas Gujja, Hayley Demchak, Ritu Chakravarti, Saurabh Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Virus-infected cells trigger a robust innate immune response and facilitate virus replication. Here, we review the role of autophagy in virus infection, focusing on both pro-viral and anti-viral host responses using a select group of viruses. Autophagy is a cellular degradation pathway operated at the basal level to maintain homeostasis and is induced by external stimuli for specific functions. The degradative function of autophagy is considered a cellular anti-viral immune response. However, autophagy is a double-edged sword in viral infection; viruses often benefit from it, and the infected cells can also use it to inhibit viral replication. In addition to viral regulation, autophagy pathway proteins also function in autophagy-independent manners to regulate immune responses. Since viruses have co-evolved with hosts, they have developed ways to evade the anti-viral autophagic responses of the cells. Some of these mechanisms are also covered in our review. Lastly, we conclude with the thought that autophagy can be targeted for therapeutic interventions against viral diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • anti-viral response
  • autophagy
  • innate immunity
  • pro-viral response
  • viral antagonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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