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Traffic. 2007 Oct;8(10):1297-303. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

The role of ubiquitin in retroviral egress.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, 2nd Floor New Guy's House, Guy's Hospital, King's College London School of Medicine at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas' Hospitals, London, SE1 9RT, UK.


HIV and many other enveloped viruses encode a late budding domain (L-domain) that recruits the cellular machinery that mediates the separation of the nascent virion from the infected cell. The ubiquitin-proteasome system has been implicated in the L-domain activity, but the exact role of ubiquitin transfer and ubiquitin-binding proteins in the last step of viral replication remains elusive. It is now widely accepted that the class E vacuolar protein sorting pathway mediates both viral budding and vesicle budding into the multivesicular bodies and, remarkably, both budding events share the same topology and similar requirements for ubiquitin. In this review, the role of ubiquitin in viral budding is discussed in the light of recent advances in the understanding of the cellular mechanisms that assist the last step of HIV-1 release.

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