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Alphaviruses can infect a broad range of vertebrate hosts, including birds, horses, primates, and humans, in which infection can lead to rash, fever, encephalitis, and arthralgia or arthritis. They are most often transmitted by mosquitoes in which they establish persistent, asymptomatic infections. Currently, there are no vaccines or antiviral therapies for any alphavirus. Several Old World alphaviruses, including Semliki Forest virus, Ross River virus and chikungunya virus, activate or hyperactivate the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway in vertebrate cells, potentially influencing many cellular processes, including survival, proliferation, metabolism and autophagy. Inhibition of PI3K or AKT inhibits replication of several alphaviruses either in vitro or in vivo, indicating the importance for viral replication. In this review, we discuss what is known about the mechanism(s) of activation of the pathway during infection and describe those effects of PI3K-AKT activation which could be of advantage to the alphaviruses. Such knowledge may be useful for the identification and development of therapies.


Eline Van Huizen, Gerald M McInerney. Activation of the PI3K-AKT Pathway by Old World Alphaviruses. Cells. 2020 Apr 15;9(4)

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PMID: 32326388

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