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Cell Host Microbe. 2008 Apr 17;3(4):245-52. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Mar 13.

The interferon-induced protein BST-2 restricts HIV-1 release and is downregulated from the cell surface by the viral Vpu protein.

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The San Diego Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161, USA.


The HIV-1 accessory protein Vpu counteracts a host factor that restricts virion release from infected cells. Here we show that the interferon-induced cellular protein BST-2/HM1.24/CD317 is such a factor. BST-2 is downregulated from the cell surface by Vpu, and BST-2 is specifically expressed in cells that support the vpu phenotype. Exogenous expression of BST-2 inhibits HIV-1 virion release, while suppression of BST-2 relieves the requirement for Vpu. Downregulation of BST-2 requires both the transmembrane/ion channel domain and conserved serines in the cytoplasmic domain of Vpu. Endogenous BST-2 colocalizes with the HIV-1 structural protein Gag in endosomes and at the plasma membrane, suggesting that BST-2 traps virions within and on infected cells. The unusual structure of BST-2, which includes a transmembrane domain and a lumenal GPI anchor, may allow it to retain nascent enveloped virions on cellular membranes, providing a mechanism of viral restriction counteracted by a specific viral accessory protein.

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