Fatty Acid Homeostasis During Flavivirus Infections
Joao Palma Pombo, HKU-Pasteur, and Prof Sumana Sanyal, team leader at HKU-Pasteur, published a review on Perturbation of Intracellular Cholesterol and Fatty Acid Homeostasis During Flavivirus Infections in Frontiers in Immunology.
This review summarises the recent advances that have been made to understand how lipid metabolism in human cells is altered upon infection by viruses from the Flaviviridae family. This family includes dangerous pathogens such as Dengue virus, Zika virus, Hepatitis C virus, and West Nile virus, which share similar steps of a life cycle that heavily relies on the cellular secretory pathway and production of intracellular membranes.
These metabolic changes can be caused by the viruses themselves, as a survival strategy, given that enhanced cholesterol or fatty acid production generates a greater pool of energy resources and building blocks for enhanced membrane production, both of which support the viral life cycle. However, metabolic alterations can also be induced by the host cell itself in response to infection, since specific alterations in lipid metabolism can trigger an innate immune response against viruses.