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J Infect Dis. 2011 Nov;204 Suppl 3:S850-60. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir378.

The Ebola virus glycoprotein and HIV-1 Vpu employ different strategies to counteract the antiviral factor tetherin.

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Institute of Virology, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


The antiviral protein tetherin/BST2/CD317/HM1.24 restricts cellular egress of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and of particles mimicking the Ebola virus (EBOV), a hemorrhagic fever virus. The HIV-1 viral protein U (Vpu) and the EBOV-glycoprotein (EBOV-GP) both inhibit tetherin. Here, we compared tetherin counteraction by EBOV-GP and Vpu. We found that EBOV-GP but not Vpu counteracted tetherin from different primate species, indicating that EBOV-GP and Vpu target tetherin differentially. Tetherin interacted with the GP2 subunit of EBOV-GP, which might encode the determinants for tetherin counteraction. Vpu reduced cell surface expression of tetherin while EBOV-GP did not, suggesting that both proteins employ different mechanisms to counteract tetherin. Finally, Marburg virus (MARV)-GP also inhibited tetherin and downregulated tetherin in a cell type-dependent fashion, indicating that tetherin antagonism depends on the cellular source of tetherin. Collectively, our results indicate that EBOV-GP counteracts tetherin by a novel mechanism and that tetherin inhibition is conserved between EBOV-GP and MARV-GP.

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