Matrix Protein 2 of Influenza A Virus Blocks Autophagosome Fusion with Lysosomes

Monique Gannagé, Dorothee Dormann, Randy Albrecht, Jörn Dengjel, Tania Torossi, Patrick C. Rämer, Monica Lee, Till Strowig, Frida Arrey, Gina Conenello, Marc Pypaert, Jens Andersen, Adolfo García-Sastre, Christian Münz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

415 Scopus citations


Influenza A virus is an important human pathogen causing significant morbidity and mortality every year and threatening the human population with epidemics and pandemics. Therefore, it is important to understand the biology of this virus to develop strategies to control its pathogenicity. Here, we demonstrate that influenza A virus inhibits macroautophagy, a cellular process known to be manipulated by diverse pathogens. Influenza A virus infection causes accumulation of autophagosomes by blocking their fusion with lysosomes, and one viral protein, matrix protein 2, is necessary and sufficient for this inhibition of autophagosome degradation. Macroautophagy inhibition by matrix protein 2 compromises survival of influenza virus-infected cells but does not influence viral replication. We propose that influenza A virus, which also encodes proapoptotic proteins, is able to determine the death of its host cell by inducing apoptosis and also by blocking macroautophagy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number4
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2009




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