Viral Manipulation of the Host Metabolic Network

Exp Suppl. 2018:109:377-401. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74932-7_10.


Viruses are intracellular parasites that rely on host machinery to replicate and achieve a successful infection. Viruses have evolved to retain a broad range of strategies to manipulate host cell metabolism and metabolic resources, channeling them toward the production of virion components leading to viral production. Although several viruses share similar strategies for manipulating host cell metabolism, these processes depend on several factors, namely, the viral life cycle and the metabolic and energetic status of the infected cell. Based on this knowledge, the development of new therapeutic approaches that circumvent viral spread through the target of altered metabolic pathways is an opportunity to tackle the infection. However, finding effective broad-spectrum strategies that aim at restoring to homeostasis the metabolic alterations induced upon virus infection is still a Holy Grail quest for antiviral therapies. Here, we review the strategies by which viruses manipulate host metabolism for their own benefit, with a particular emphasis on carbohydrate, glutamine, and lipid metabolism.

Keywords: Host cell metabolism; Host–pathogen interaction; Metabolic manipulation; Viral infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Glutamine / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways*
  • Virion
  • Virus Diseases / metabolism*


  • Glutamine