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Cell. 2003 Aug 8;114(3):281-3.

Death by deamination: a novel host restriction system for HIV-1.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 701 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


A human gene with potent antiretroviral activity has recently been found to encode a new member of the family of cytidine deaminases, previously known to be involved in mRNA editing, immunoglobulin gene class switching, and immunoglobulin gene hypermutation. The enzyme attacks viral DNA as it is synthesized in infected cells and prevents the formation of functional proviruses. The Vif gene of HIV-1 blocks this host restriction and so allows virus replication.

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