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Viral apoptotic mimicry

Nature Reviews Microbiology volume 13, pages 461469 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

As opportunistic pathogens, viruses have evolved many elegant strategies to manipulate host cells for infectious entry and replication. Viral apoptotic mimicry, defined by the exposure of phosphatidylserine — a marker for apoptosis — on the pathogen surface, is emerging as a common theme used by enveloped viruses to promote infection. Focusing on the four best described examples (vaccinia virus, dengue virus, Ebola virus and pseudotyped lentivirus), we summarize our current understanding of apoptotic mimicry as a mechanism for virus entry, binding and immune evasion. We also describe recent examples of non-enveloped viruses that use this mimicry strategy, and discuss future directions and how viral apoptotic mimicry could be targeted therapeutically.

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Acknowledgements

The authors apologize to all whose important contributions could not be cited owing to space constraints. A.A. is supported by grants from the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, the US National Institutes of Health (grant R01 N°AI101400), and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant TIMTAMDEN CE2014 and the Investissements d'Avenir programme reference ANR-10-IHUB -0002). J.M. is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) core funding to the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London.

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Affiliations

  1. Ali Amara is at Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U944 and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7212, Laboratoire de Pathologie et Virologie Moléculaire, Institut Universitaire d'Hématologie, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Hôpital Saint-Louis, 1 avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France.

    • Ali Amara
  2. Jason Mercer is at the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

    • Jason Mercer

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Ali Amara or Jason Mercer.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3469

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