Viral modulators of cell death provide new links to old pathways

Pablo M. Irusta, Ying Bei Chen, J. Marie Hardwick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

By observing how viruses facilitate their parasitic relationships with host cells, we gain insights into key regulatory pathways of the cell. Not only are mitochondria key players in the regulation of programmed cell death, but many viral regulators of cell death also alter mitochondrial functions either directly or indirectly. Although cytomegalovirus vMIA and Epstein-Barr virus BHRF1 seem to have opposite effects on mitochondrial morphology, they both inhibit cell death. Drosophila Reaper, a regulator of developmental cell death, acts on IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) proteins to activate caspases, but can regulate mitochondrial permeability in vitro. Despite its pivotal role in Drosophila, homologues of Reaper in other species were not previously known. Recently, amino acid sequence similarity was recognized between Drosophila Reaper and a protein known to be important for the replication and virulence of mosquito-borne bunyaviruses that cause human encephalitis. Thus, viral mechanisms for regulating apoptosis are diverse and not fully elucidated but promise to provide new insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-705
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Viral modulators of cell death provide new links to old pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this