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Varicella-zoster virus inhibits autophagosome-lysosome fusion and the degradation stage of mTOR-mediated autophagic flux.

Virology; 522: 220-227, 2018 09.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30053655
Macroautophagy (herein referred to as autophagy) is a lysosomal degradation mechanism that is important for maintaining homeostasis and for coping with cellular stress such as nutrient deprivation. Previously, varicella-zoster virus (VZV) was reported to modulate the autophagy pathway in the host. However, how VZV affects the autophagy pathway is still unclear. In this study, we examined how wild-type rOka and attenuated vOka strains of cell-associated VZV affect autophagy in MRC-5 fibroblasts by using ratiometric flow cytometry and immunoblotting methods. While VZV does not prevent autophagosome formation, we demonstrate that, particularly when autophagy is upregulated, VZV inhibits late-stage autophagic flux, likely at the point where autophagosomes and lysosomes fuse or where vesicle contents are degraded. Importantly, inhibition of autophagy yields higher VZV titers. These results substantially contribute to the current view of the interaction between VZV and autophagy, and to a better understanding of VZV pathogenesis.