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Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Mar;32(3):118-28. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

APOBEC-mediated viral restriction: not simply editing?

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, King's College London School of Medicine, London, SE1 9RT, UK.


The APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases inhibit the mobility of diverse retroviruses, retrotransposons and other viruses. Initial reports proposed that these effects were due to the DNA editing capabilities of these enzymes; however, many recent studies have provided evidence suggesting that APOBEC proteins can inhibit these elements by several mechanisms, including editing-dependent and editing-independent processes. Investigating these modes of action and the potential contribution that each one makes to the antiviral activities of various APOBEC proteins is vital if we are to understand how APOBEC proteins protect host genomes from invading nucleic acids.

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