Perspective and Reflection Article

Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 647-655

First online:

Loss of stress response as a consequence of viral infection: implications for disease and therapy

  • Philip L. HooperAffiliated withDivision of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Email author 
  • , Lawrence E. HightowerAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut
  • , Paul L. HooperAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of New MexicoSanta Fe Institute

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Herein, we propose that viral infection can induce a deficient cell stress response and thereby impairs stress tolerance and makes tissues vulnerable to damage. Having a valid paradigm to address the pathological impacts of viral infections could lead to effective new therapies for diseases that have previously been unresponsive to intervention. Host response to viral infections can also lead to autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes. In the case of Newcastle disease virus, the effects of viral infection on heat shock proteins may be leveraged as a therapy for cancer. Finally, the search for a specific virus being responsible for a condition like chronic fatigue syndrome may not be worthwhile if the disease is simply a nonspecific response to viral infection.