Viral activation of cellular metabolism

Virology. 2015 May;479-480:609-18. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.02.038. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


To ensure optimal environments for their replication and spread, viruses have evolved to alter many host cell pathways. In the last decade, metabolomic studies have shown that eukaryotic viruses induce large-scale alterations in host cellular metabolism. Most viruses examined to date induce aerobic glycolysis also known as the Warburg effect. Many viruses tested also induce fatty acid synthesis as well as glutaminolysis. These modifications of carbon source utilization by infected cells can increase available energy for virus replication and virion production, provide specific cellular substrates for virus particles and create viral replication niches while increasing infected cell survival. Each virus species also likely requires unique metabolic changes for successful spread and recent research has identified additional virus-specific metabolic changes induced by many virus species. A better understanding of the metabolic alterations required for the replication of each virus may lead to novel therapeutic approaches through targeted inhibition of specific cellular metabolic pathways.

Keywords: Fatty acid synthesis; Glutaminolysis; Glycolysis; Metabolism; Metabolomics; Virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytosol / chemistry
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Eukaryota / virology*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Glutamine / metabolism
  • Glycolysis
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Metabolism*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*
  • Virus Replication*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Glutamine