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Virology. 2008 Jul 20;377(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.04.017. Epub 2008 May 21.

The HIV-1 Vif PPLP motif is necessary for human APOBEC3G binding and degradation.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, A-2200, Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


The HIV-1 virion infectivity factor (Vif) is required during viral replication to inactivate the host cell anti-viral factor, APOBEC3G (A3G). Vif binds A3G and a Cullin5-ElonginBC E3 ubiquitin ligase complex which results in the proteasomal degradation of A3G. The Vif PPLP motif (amino acids 161-164) is essential for normal Vif function because mutations in this motif reduce the infectivity of virions produced in T-cells. In this report, we demonstrate that mutation of the Vif PPLP motif reduces Vif binding to A3G without affecting its interaction with ElonginC and Cullin5. We demonstrate that the failure of the Vif mutant to bind A3G resulted in A3G incorporation into assembling virions with loss of viral infectivity.

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