About this Research Topic
Viruses are responsible for many common diseases (e.g., influenza, dengue fever, Zika, herpes, rabies, polio, the common cold, Ebola, AIDS, cancer, etc.), making them a serious threat to human health. Different viruses have distinct host specificities, and within a host species they target specific organs, tissues, and cell types to infect and disseminate. After reaching a potential host cell and attaching to its surface, the virus needs to deliver its capsid and accessory proteins into the cell in a replication-competent form. Devoid of any means of independent locomotion, viruses need assistance from the host cells to gain entry and establish a successful infection. In the dialogue between the host cell and the virus, the cell provides critical cues that allow the virus to undergo molecular transformations that lead to successful internalization, genome release, replication, packaging of progeny virus particles, and egress.
Every step of the virus infection cycle, from initial attachment and entry into the host cell to egress, is pre-programmed and tightly regulated. To successfully achieve the goal at each step, viruses exploit different cell organelles and their associated proteins. Starting from the cell membrane with a diverse collection of receptors, viruses hijack different cell organelles such as the endosomes, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi complex, mitochondria, and nucleus at different stages of their entry and replication. Alternatively, DNA viruses are heavily dependent on the host nuclear proteins for their replication. Other organelles like endosomes and mitochondria are also exploited by different viruses during their cellular entry, uncoating, replication, and egress. Mounting evidence of the involvement of membrane contact sites (MCS) between different cell organelles during virus entry and replication is opening a new frontier in the field of both virology and cell biology. In many cases, the relation of the viruses with these organelles is also important to circumvent the host’s innate immune machinery, thus making of the understanding of virus organelle connections an important milestone for the understanding of viral infections.
This Research Topic is dedicated to the importance of host cell organelles in virus infection. We welcome original research articles, opinions, perspectives, methods and reviews highlighting advances in the study of viral interactions with diverse host cell organelles, which may lead to potential development of therapeutic strategies to combat viral diseases.
Keywords: Cell organelle, virus, membrane contact sites
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