Author(s): Zhen A, Wang T, Zhao K, Xiong Y, Yu XF
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Abstract Several variants of APOBEC3H (A3H) have been identified in different human populations. Certain variants of this protein are particularly potent inhibitors of retrotransposons and retroviruses, including HIV-1. However, it is not clear whether HIV-1 Vif can recognize and suppress the antiviral activity of A3H variants, as it does with other APOBEC3 proteins. We now report that A3H_Haplotype II (HapII), a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 in the absence of Vif, can indeed be degraded by HIV-1 Vif. Vif-induced degradation of A3H_HapII was blocked by the proteasome inhibitor MG132 and a Cullin5 (Cul5) dominant negative mutant. In addition, Vif mutants that were incapable of assembly with the host E3 ligase complex factors Cul5, ElonginB, and ElonginC were also defective for A3H_HapII suppression. Although we found that Vif hijacks the same E3 ligase to degrade A3H_HapII as it does to inactivate APOBEC3G (A3G) and APOBEC3F (A3F), more Vif motifs were involved in A3H_HapII inactivation than in either A3G or A3F suppression. In contrast to A3H_HapII, A3H_Haplotype I (HapI), which differs in only three amino acids from A3H_HapII, was resistant to HIV-1 Vif-mediated degradation. We also found that residue 121 was critical for determining A3H sensitivity and binding to HIV-1 Vif.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Virology & Mycology