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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 265353, 10 pages
Review Article

Autophagy in HCV Infection: Keeping Fat and Inflammation at Bay

1National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” IRCCS, IRCCS, 00149 Rome, Italy
2Department of Biology, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome, 00173 Rome, Italy
3Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 6 May 2014; Accepted 11 July 2014; Published 5 August 2014

Academic Editor: Patrice Codogno

Copyright © 2014 Tiziana Vescovo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease. Viral persistence and pathogenesis rely mainly on the ability of HCV to deregulate specific host processes, including lipid metabolism and innate immunity. Recently, autophagy has emerged as a cellular pathway, playing a role in several aspects of HCV infection. This review summarizes current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms that link the HCV life cycle with autophagy machinery. In particular, we discuss the role of HCV/autophagy interaction in dysregulating inflammation and lipid homeostasis and its potential for translational applications in the treatment of HCV-infected patients.