Project: SNSF | ER-phagy mechanisms to ma... (154421), NWO | A three-dimensional look ... (2300175771), EC | PRONKJEWAIL (713660)
Autophagy is a conserved intracellular catabolic pathway that allows cells to maintain homeostasis through the degradation of deleterious components via specialized double-membrane vesicles called autophagosomes. During the past decades, it has been revealed that numerous pathogens, including viruses, usurp autophagy in order to promote their propagation. Nidovirales are an order of enveloped viruses with large single-stranded positive RNA genomes. Four virus families (Arterividae, Coronaviridae, Mesoniviridae, and Roniviridae) are part of this order, which comprises several human and animal pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. In host cells, Nidovirales induce membrane rearrangements including autophagosome formation. The relevance and putative mechanism of autophagy usurpation, however, remain largely elusive. Here, we review the current knowledge about the possible interplay between Nidovirales and autophagy.
The catabolic process of macroautophagy, through the rapid degradation of unwanted cellular components, is involved in a multitude of cellular and organismal functions that are essential to maintain homeostasis. Those functions include adaptation to starvation, cell development and differentiation, innate and adaptive immunity, tumor suppression, autophagic cell death, and maintenance of stem cell stemness. Not surprisingly, an impairment or block of macroautophagy can lead to severe pathologies. A still increasing number of reports, in particular, have revealed that mutations in the autophagy-related (ATG) genes, encoding the key players of macroautophagy, are either the cause or represent a risk factor for the development of several illnesses. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the diseases and disorders currently known that are or could be caused by mutations in core ATG proteins but also in the so-called autophagy receptors, which provide specificity to the process of macroautophagy. Our compendium underlines the medical relevance of this pathway and underscores the importance of the eventual development of therapeutic approaches aimed at modulating macroautophagy.