A renewed focus on the interplay between viruses and mitochondrial metabolism

Arch Virol. 2014 Jun;159(6):1267-77. doi: 10.1007/s00705-013-1841-1. Epub 2013 Dec 17.


Mitochondria fulfil several key functions within cellular metabolic and antiviral signalling pathways, including their central role in ATP generation. Viruses, as intracellular parasites, require from their cellular host the building blocks for generation of their viral progeny and the energy that drives viral replication and assembly. While some viruses have adopted ways to manipulate the infected cell such that cellular metabolism supports optimal virus production, other viruses simply exhaust cellular resources. The association of viruses with mitochondria is influenced by several important factors such as speed of the viral replication cycle and viral dependence on cellular enzymes and metabolites. This review will highlight the complex interconnectivity of viral life cycles with the three main mitochondrial metabolic pathways, namely β-oxidation, the tricarboxylic (TCA) cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. This interconnectivity has the potential to reveal interesting points for antiviral therapy with either prometabolites or antimetabolites and highlights the importance of the viral association with mitochondrial metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Citric Acid Cycle
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Phosphorylation
  • Virus Replication*
  • Viruses / growth & development*