PROJECT 4 - Vif (PETERLIN AND GROSS. PROJECT LEADERS)The viral infectivity factor Vif is an essential accessory protein of primate lentiviruses, HIV-1, HIV-2,and SIV. Without Vif, these viruses do not replicate in non-permissive cells or in the host. Vif inactivatesthe cellular cytidine deaminases ASF and A3G, which are members of the APOBEC3 (apolipoprotein BmRNA-editing enzyme catalytic-polypeptides 3) family. In the absence of Vif, these APOBEC3 proteinsare incorporated into new viral particles where they deaminate cytidines in the minus-strand cDNA duringreverse transcription. These DNA lesions result in viral DNA degradation or introduction of deleteriousmutations. In addition, the APOBEC3 proteins can inhibit viral replication in the absence of their enzymaticactivity, possibly by altering the reverse transcription process itself. Thus, APOBEC proteins protect cellsagainst HIV, and Vif has evolved to provide an essential viral counter defense.A key role for Vif is to promote ubiquitination and subsequent destruction of A3G and ASF by theproteosome. Vif recruits A3G and ASF to a cellular ubiquitin protein ligase that includes Cullin-5, Ring-box2, and Elongins B and C (EloBC). Even modest inhibition of Vif function, either by interfering with bindingto A3G and/or ASF or by blocking recruitment of the EloBC/Cul5/Rbx2 E3 ligase, might significantly reduceHIV-1 loads in vivo. Therefore, a major objective of this project is to determine the architecture of theVif/EloBC/Cul5/Rbx2 complex and subcomplexes with A3G.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
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University of California San Francisco
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