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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Apr 1;407(1):266-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.03.023. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Repression of porcine endogenous retrovirus infection by human APOBEC3 proteins.

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Department of Animal Biotechnology, College of Animal Bioscience and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, South Korea.


It has been shown that porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) can infect human cells, indicating that PERV transmission poses a serious concern in pig-to-human xenotransplantation. A number of recent studies have reported on retrovirus interference by antiviral proteins. The most potent antiviral proteins are members of the APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases, which are involved in defense against retroviral attack. These proteins are present in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells and inhibit retroviral replication. To evaluate the inhibition of PERV transmission by human APOBEC3 proteins, we co-transfected 293T cells with a PERV molecular clone and human APOBEC3F or APOBEC3G expression vectors, and monitored PERV replication competency using a quantitative analysis of PERV pol genes. The replication of PERVs in cells co-expressing human APOBEC3s was reduced by 60-90% compared with PERV-only control. These results suggest that human APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F might serve a potential barrier function against PERV transmission in xenotransplantation.

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