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J Virol. 2010 Jul;84(14):7312-24. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00209-10. Epub 2010 May 5.

Vif of feline immunodeficiency virus from domestic cats protects against APOBEC3 restriction factors from many felids.

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Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Building 23.12.U1.87, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


To get more insight into the role of APOBEC3 (A3) cytidine deaminases in the species-specific restriction of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) of the domestic cat, we tested the A3 proteins present in big cats (puma, lion, tiger, and lynx). These A3 proteins were analyzed for expression and sensitivity to the Vif protein of FIV. While A3Z3s and A3Z2-Z3s inhibited Deltavif FIV, felid A3Z2s did not show any antiviral activity against Deltavif FIV or wild-type (wt) FIV. All felid A3Z3s and A3Z2-Z3s were sensitive to Vif of the domestic cat FIV. Vif also induced depletion of felid A3Z2s. Tiger A3s showed a moderate degree of resistance against the Vif-mediated counter defense. These findings may imply that the A3 restriction system does not play a major role to prevent domestic cat FIV transmission to other Felidae. In contrast to the sensitive felid A3s, many nonfelid A3s actively restricted wt FIV replication. To test whether Vif(FIV) can protect also the distantly related human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), a chimeric HIV-1.Vif(FIV) was constructed. This HIV-1.Vif(FIV) was replication competent in nonpermissive feline cells expressing human CD4/CCR5 that did not support the replication of wt HIV-1. We conclude that the replication of HIV-1 in some feline cells is inhibited only by feline A3 restriction factors and the absence of the appropriate receptor or coreceptor.

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