Autophagy-mediated secretion: A novel mechanism of molecular inflammation and viral transmission

Focus of research

I am a PhD student in the Autophagy-directed Immunity (ADI) group, led by Dr. Carla Ribeiro.

 Autophagy functions as an antiviral defense mechanism by degrading intracellular viral components. In degradative autophagy, HIV-1 components can be targeted for destruction, thus preventing HIV-1 infection and transmission1. Recently, another function for autophagy in secretion has been discovered2. However, the molecular mechanism of secretory autophagy is poorly understood. Notably, secretory autophagy may play important roles in virus-induced inflammation and viral transmission3.

My PhD project aims to define the molecular mechanism of secretory autophagy, and its role in molecular inflammation and viral transmission. Specific objectives are: 1) Elucidate the molecular mechanism of secretory autophagy; 2) Identify inflammatory output released by secretory autophagy; and 3) Investigate the role of secretory autophagy in viral transmission in vitro and ex vivo.

1. Ribeiro CMS, Sarrami-Forooshani R, Setiawan LC, et al. Receptor usage dictates HIV-1 restriction by human TRIM5α in dendritic cell subsets. Nature. 2016;540(7633):448-452. doi:10.1038/nature20567.

2. Kimura T, Jia J, Claude-taupin A, et al. Cellular and molecular mechanism for secretory autophagy. Autophagy. 2017;13(6):1084-1085. doi:10.1080/15548627.2017.1307486.

3. Wu Y, Mettling C, Wu S, Yu C, Perng G. Autophagy-associated dengue vesicles promote viral transmission avoiding antibody neutralization. Nat Publ Gr. 2016;(6):32243. doi:10.1038/srep32243