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Annu Rev Genet. 2008;42:143-63. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genet.42.110807.091704.

Host restriction factors blocking retroviral replication.

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HHMI, Department of Biochemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Retroviruses are highly successful intracellular parasites, and as such they are found in nearly all branches of life. Some are relatively benign, but many are highly pathogenic and can cause either acute or chronic diseases. Therefore, there is tremendous selective pressure on the host to prevent retroviral replication, and for this reason cells have evolved a variety of restriction factors that act to inhibit or block the viruses. This review is a survey of the best-characterized restriction factors capable of inhibiting retroviral replication and aims to highlight the diversity of strategies used for this task.

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