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Viruses co-opt a multitude of host cell metabolic processes in order to meet the energy and substrate requirements for successful viral replication. However, due to their limited coding capacity, viruses must enact most, if not all, of these metabolic changes by influencing the function of available host cell regulatory proteins. Typically, certain viral proteins, some of which can function as viral oncoproteins, interact with these cellular regulatory proteins directly in order to effect changes in downstream metabolic pathways. This review highlights recent research into how four different DNA tumor viruses, namely human adenovirus, human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's associated-sarcoma herpesvirus, can influence host cell metabolism through their interactions with either MYC, p53 or the pRb/E2F complex. Interestingly, some of these host cell regulators can be activated or inhibited by the same virus, depending on which viral oncoprotein is interacting with the regulatory protein. This review highlights how MYC, p53 and pRb/E2F regulate host cell metabolism, followed by an outline of how each of these DNA tumor viruses control their activities. Understanding how DNA tumor viruses regulate metabolism through viral oncoproteins could assist in the discovery or repurposing of metabolic inhibitors for antiviral therapy or treatment of virus-dependent cancers.


Martin A Prusinkiewicz, Joe S Mymryk. Metabolic Control by DNA Tumor Virus-Encoded Proteins. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland). 2021 May 06;10(5)

PMID: 34066504

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