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J Virol. 2006 Nov;80(21):10522-33. Epub 2006 Aug 18.

Identification of APOBEC3DE as another antiretroviral factor from the human APOBEC family.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-4320, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Virol. 2011 May;85(10):5243.


A tandem arrayed gene cluster encoding seven cytidine deaminase genes is present on human chromosome 22. These are APOBEC3A, APOBEC3B, APOBEC3C, APOBEC3DE, APOBEC3F, APOBEC3G, and APOBEC3H. Three of them, APOBEC3G, APOBEC3F, and APOBEC3B, block replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and many other retroviruses. In addition, APOBEC3A and APOBEC3C block intracellular retrotransposons and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), respectively. In opposition to APOBEC genes, HIV-1 and SIV contain a virion infectivity factor (Vif) that targets APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G for polyubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation. Herein, we studied the antiretroviral activities of the human APOBEC3DE and APOBEC3H. We found that only APOBEC3DE had antiretroviral activity for HIV-1 or SIV and that Vif suppressed this antiviral activity. APOBEC3DE was encapsidated and capable of deaminating cytosines to uracils on viral minus-strand DNA, resulting in disruption of the viral life cycle. Other than GG-to-AG and AG-to-AA mutations, it had a novel target site specificity, resulting in introduction of GC-to-AC mutations on viral plus-strand DNA. Such mutations have been detected previously in HIV-1 clinical isolates. In addition, APOBEC3DE was expressed much more extensively than APOBEC3F in various human tissues and it formed heteromultimers with APOBEC3F or APOBEC3G in the cell. From these studies, we concluded that APOBEC3DE is a new contributor to the intracellular defense network, resulting in suppression of retroviral invasion.

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