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J Virol. 2006 Jul;80(13):6198-206.

Functional replacement of the RING, B-box 2, and coiled-coil domains of tripartite motif 5alpha (TRIM5alpha) by heterologous TRIM domains.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street-JFB 824, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Tripartite motif 5alpha (TRIM5alpha) restricts some retroviruses, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), from infecting the cells of particular species. TRIM5alpha is a member of the TRIM family of proteins, which contain RING, B-box, coiled-coil (CC), and, in some cases, B30.2(SPRY) domains. Here we investigated the abilities of domains from TRIM proteins (TRIM6, TRIM34, and TRIM21) that do not restrict HIV-1 infection to substitute for the domains of rhesus monkey TRIM5alpha (TRIM5alpha(rh)). The RING, B-box 2, and CC domains of the paralogous TRIM6 and TRIM34 proteins functionally replaced the corresponding TRIM5alpha(rh) domains, allowing HIV-1 restriction. By contrast, similar chimeras containing the components of TRIM21, a slightly more distant relative of TRIM5, did not restrict HIV-1 infection. The TRIM21 B-box 2 domain and its flanking linker regions contributed to the functional defectiveness of these chimeras. All of the chimeric proteins formed trimers. All of the chimeras that restricted HIV-1 infection bound the assembled HIV-1 capsid complexes. These results indicate that heterologous RING, B-box 2, and CC domains from related TRIM proteins can functionally substitute for TRIM5alpha(rh) domains.

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