Conserved requirement of autophagy-related effectors during coronavirus replication

Autophagy. 2023 Feb;19(2):731-733. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2100617. Epub 2022 Jul 24.


The recurrence of zoonotic transmission events highlights the need for novel treatment strategies against emerging coronaviruses (CoVs), namely SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and most notably SARS-CoV-2. Our recently performed genome-wide CRISPR knockout screen revealed a list of conserved pan-coronavirus as well as MERS-CoV or HCoV-229E-specific host dependency factors (HDF) essential during the viral life cycle. Intriguingly, we identified the macroautophagy/autophagy pathway-regulating immunophilins FKBP8, TMEM41B, and MINAR1 as conserved MERS-CoV, HCoV-229E, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 host factors, which further constitute potential targets for therapeutic intervention by clinically approved drugs.

Keywords: Antiviral target; CRISPR screen; autophagy; coronavirus; host factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus 229E, Human
  • Host-Derived Cellular Factors*
  • Humans
  • Immunophilins*
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus
  • Virus Replication*


  • Immunophilins
  • Host-Derived Cellular Factors

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant number 165076 and 173085, VT) and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; RAPID, VT)