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J Virol. 2007 Mar;81(5):2138-48. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

The human TRIM5alpha restriction factor mediates accelerated uncoating of the N-tropic murine leukemia virus capsid.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, JFB 824, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The host cell factors TRIM5alpha(hu) and Fv-1 restrict N-tropic murine leukemia virus (N-MLV) infection at an early postentry step before or after reverse transcription, respectively. Interestingly, the identity of residue 110 of the MLV capsid determines susceptibility to both TRIM5alpha(hu) and Fv-1. In this study, we investigate the fate of the MLV capsid in cells expressing either the TRIM5alpha(hu) or Fv-1 restriction factor. The expression of TRIM5alpha(hu), but not Fv-1, specifically promoted the premature conversion of particulate N-MLV capsids within infected cells to soluble capsid proteins. The TRIM5alpha(hu)-mediated disassembly of particulate N-MLV capsids was dependent upon residue 110 of the viral capsid. Furthermore, the deletion or disruption of TRIM5alpha(hu) domains necessary for potent N-MLV restriction completely abrogated the disappearance of particulate N-MLV capsids observed with wild-type TRIM5alpha(hu). These results suggest that premature disassembly of the viral capsid contributes to the restriction of N-MLV infection by TRIM5alpha(hu), but not by Fv-1.

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