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Trends Immunol. 2012 Jan;33(1):26-33. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Dec 15.

How SAMHD1 changes our view of viral restriction.

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Laboratoire de Virologie Moléculaire, Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS-UPR 1142, 141 rue de la Cardonille, 34296 Montpellier cedex 5, France.


Recent studies have uncovered sterile alpha motif and HD domain 1 (SAMHD1) as the restriction factor that blocks HIV-1 replication in myeloid cells. In contrast to previously identified HIV-1 restriction factors, SAMHD1 does not meet a countermeasure developed by HIV-1. However, HIV-2 and certain simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) strains express the auxiliary protein Vpx that potently blocks SAMHD1. It is therefore perplexing why this function has been lost or not acquired during the course of lentiviral evolution. This article summarizes the similarities and differences between SAMHD1 and other HIV-1 restriction factors, while highlighting the new questions that are emerging about the crosstalk between restriction factors and innate immune responses.

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