The role of microRNAs in metabolic interactions between viruses and their hosts

Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Aug:19:71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2016.07.005. Epub 2016 Jul 28.


Productive viral infection requires changes to the cellular metabolic landscape in order to obtain the building blocks and create the microenvironments necessary for the viral life cycle. In mammals, these alterations of metabolic pathways have been shown to be mediated in part by host and virus-encoded microRNAs. To counteract virally-induced changes in the cellular metabolic profile, the interferon-regulated antiviral response restricts viral access to key metabolites by altering cellular metabolism, mediated through induction of specific microRNAs regulating key lipid biosynthetic processes. In this review, we examine recent studies demonstrating the important role of microRNAs in the regulation of metabolic flux during viral infection.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Interferons / immunology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena
  • Virus Replication
  • Viruses / pathogenicity


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Viral
  • Interferons