Influenza A viruses are important worldwide pathogens for humans and different animal species. The infectious agent is the prototype of the orthomyxoviridae which are characterized by a segmented negative strand RNA genome that is replicated in the nucleus of the infected cell. The genome has a combined coding capacity of about 13 kb and contains the genetic information for ten viral proteins. Despite this relatively small coding capacity--large DNA viruses like herpes or poxviruses express about 150-200 gene products--influenza A viruses are able to successfully infect and multiply in a wide range of mammalian and avian species. It is therefore not surprising that influenza A viruses extensively use and manipulate host cell functions. This includes multiple interactions of viral proteins with cellular proteins. In recent years an increasing amount of information about the identity of the cellular factors that are involved in viral transcription and replication, intracellular trafficking of viral components and assembly of the virus particle has accumulated. This article aims to review recent developments in this field with a focus on cellular factors and processes which are activated by the virus to either support viral replication or to counteract host-cell defense mechanisms.