The ORF7a protein of SARS-CoV-2 initiates autophagy and limits autophagosome-lysosome fusion via degradation of SNAP29 to promote virus replication

Peili Hou, Xuefeng Wang, Hongmei Wang, Tiecheng Wang, Zhangping Yu, Chunqing Xu, Yudong Zhao, Wenqi Wang, Yong Zhao, Fengyun Chu, Huasong Chang, Hongchao Zhu, Jiahui Lu, Fuzhen Zhang, Xue Liang, Xingyu Li, Song Wang, Yuwei Gao & Hongbin He
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is closely related to various cellular aspects associated with autophagy. However, how SARS-CoV-2 mediates the subversion of the macroautophagy/autophagy pathway remains largely unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that overexpression of the SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a protein activates LC3-II and leads to the accumulation of autophagosomes in multiple cell lines, while knockdown of the viral ORF7a gene via shRNAs targeting ORF7a sgRNA during SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased autophagy levels. Mechanistically,...
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