Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 modulate autophagy in SIRC corneal cells

Goran Petrovski, Kata Pásztor, László Orosz, Réka Albert, Edina Mencel, Morten C. Moe, Kai Kaarniranta, Andrea Facskó, Klára Megyeri

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Autophagy and apoptosis function as important early cellular defense mechanisms in infections and other diseases. The outcome of an infection is determined by a complex interplay between the pathogenic microorganism and these intracellular pathways. To better understand the cytopathogenicity of Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2), we studied the effect of these viruses on the autophagic and apoptotic processes in the SIRC corneal cell line. Infection with the KOS strain of HSV-1 and a wild-type strain of HSV-2 enhanced autophagosome formation, triggered cytoplasmic acidification, increased LC3B lipidation and elevated the ratio of apoptotic cells. The autophagy inhibitor bafilomycin A1 triggered a significant increase in the apoptotic responses of HSV-1- and HSV-2-infected cells. Thus, both HSV types affect autophagy and apoptosis in a coordinated fashion, and autophagy plays cytoprotective role in HSV-infected cells via antagonizing apoptosis. Together these data implicate autophagy in the pathogenic mechanism of herpetic keratitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-692
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biosciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Apoptosis
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • autophagy
  • corneal cells
  • keratitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Petrovski, G., Pásztor, K., Orosz, L., Albert, R., Mencel, E., Moe, M. C., Kaarniranta, K., Facskó, A., & Megyeri, K. (2014). Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 modulate autophagy in SIRC corneal cells. Journal of Biosciences, 39(4), 683-692. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12038-014-9443-y