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AIDS Rev. 2004 Jan-Mar;6(1):34-9.

New insights into the role of Vif in HIV-1 replication.

Author information

  • 1Infectious Disease Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


HIV-1 and most of the other lentiviruses encode Vif (virion infectivity factor), an accessory protein that the virus requires to replicate in primary CD4+ T-cells and monocytes. The host cell factor with which Vif interacts was recently identified as APOBEC3G, a cytidine deaminase related to the RNA-editing enzymes. Identification of this key host protein has allowed for dramatic leaps in our understanding of how Vif functions. Vif prevents the encapsidation of APOBEC3G into HIV-1 virions during virus assembly. If not for Vif, the encapsidated APOBEC3G would damage the virus reverse transcripts, causing their degradation and closing the open reading frames of its genes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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