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Virology. 2006 Jun 5;349(2):300-15. Epub 2006 Feb 10.

Rapid turnover and polyubiquitylation of the retroviral restriction factor TRIM5.

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Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Pathology, Division of AIDS, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


TRIM5alpha and TRIMCyp are retroviral restriction factors that, like other members of the tripartite motif (TRIM) family, contain RING, B-box 2 and coiled-coil domains. We found that both proteins are rapidly turned over, with half-lives of 50-60 min. Polyubiquitylation and rapid degradation of TRIM5alpha depended upon intact RING and B-box 2 domains. A chimera consisting of monkey TRIM5alpha with a RING domain of human TRIM21 exhibited a half-life of 210 min, yet potently restricted human immunodeficiency virus; therefore, rapid turnover of TRIM5alpha is not required for its antiretroviral activity. TRIM5alpha forms cytoplasmic bodies that contain other polyubiquitylated proteins, heat shock proteins and dynein, and thus resemble aggresome precursors. Consistent with this interpretation, proteasomal inhibitors triggered the formation of TRIM5alpha(rh)-containing aggresomes in a microtubule-dependent manner. Thus, TRIM5alpha levels in the cell are maintained by continuous synthesis and rapid proteasome-mediated degradation, imbalances in which result in the formation of pre-aggresomal cytoplasmic bodies.

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