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Virology. 2006 May 25;349(1):31-40. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Comparative analysis of the antiretroviral activity of APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F from primates.

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Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10016, USA.


APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F exhibit antiretroviral activity primarily as a consequence of their ability to deaminate cytidines in retroviral DNA. Here, we compare the properties of APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G from human, macaque, and African green monkey (AGM). While all APOBEC proteins tested exhibited anti-HIV-1 activity, human APOBEC3F was, surprisingly, 10- to 50-fold less potent than human APOBEC3G. However, similar discrepancies in antiviral potency were not found when pairs of proteins from macaque and AGM were compared. Intrinsic differences in the ability of each APOBEC protein to induce hypermutation, rather than differences in packaging efficiency, partially accounted for variable antiretroviral activity. Each of four primate lentivirus Vif proteins reduced human and AGM APOBEC3F expression and antiviral activity, but all were only partially effective and species-specific effects were relatively minor. Overall, highly efficient and species-specific neutralization of APOBEC3G, and less efficient neutralization of APOBEC3F, appears to be a general property of Vif proteins.

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