Dengue virus-induced autophagy regulates lipid metabolism

Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Nov 18;8(5):422-32. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2010.10.006.


Autophagy influences numerous cellular processes, including innate and adaptive immunity against intracellular pathogens. However, some viruses, including dengue virus (DENV), usurp autophagy to enhance their replication. The mechanism for a positive role of autophagy in DENV infection is unclear. We present data that DENV induction of autophagy regulates cellular lipid metabolism. DENV infection leads to an autophagy-dependent processing of lipid droplets and triglycerides to release free fatty acids. This results in an increase in cellular β-oxidation, which generates ATP. These processes are required for efficient DENV replication. Importantly, exogenous fatty acids can supplant the requirement of autophagy in DENV replication. These results define a role for autophagy in DENV infection and provide a mechanism by which viruses can alter cellular lipid metabolism to promote their replication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Dengue Virus / immunology
  • Dengue Virus / pathogenicity*
  • Dengue Virus / physiology
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Hepatocytes / virology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / virology*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Virus Replication


  • Fatty Acids