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Mol Cell. 2004 Dec 22;16(6):849-59.

Retrovirus restriction factors.

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


A number of cellular genes have recently been identified that actively inhibit retrovirus replication and so protect cells from infection. The genes target many distinct steps in the viral life cycle: entry, viral DNA synthesis, intracellular movement of viral nucleic acids, and viral gene expression. These restriction systems constitute newly appreciated components of an innate immunity that may be important for survival of a host exposed to retrovirus infection. It may someday be possible to enhance or activate these systems to induce antiviral states.

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