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Viral Control of Mitochondrial Apoptosis *

Throughout the process of pathogen–host co-evolution, viruses have developed a battery of distinct strategies to overcome biochemical and immunological defenses of the host. Thus, viruses have acquired the capacity to subvert host cell apoptosis, control inflammatory responses, and evade immune reactions. Since the elimination of infected cells via programmed cell death is one of the most ancestral defense mechanisms against infection, disabling host cell apoptosis might represent an almost obligate step in the viral life cycle. Conversely, viruses may take advantage of stimulating apoptosis, either to kill uninfected cells from the immune system, or to induce the breakdown of infected cells, thereby favoring viral dissemination. Several viral polypeptides are homologs of host-derived apoptosis-regulatory proteins, such as members of the Bcl-2 family. Moreover, viral factors with no homology to host proteins specifically target key components of the apoptotic machinery. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the viral modulation of mitochondrial apoptosis, by focusing in particular on the mechanisms by which viral proteins control the host cell death apparatus.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-13-2009
Authors: Lorenzo Galluzzi,#1,2,3 Catherine Brenner,#4* Eugenia Morselli,1,2,3 Zahia Touat,4 and Guido Kroemer1,2,3*
Source: PLoS Pathog. 2008 May; 4(5),