Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Role of APOBECs in Viral Replication

Version 1 : Received: 30 October 2020 / Approved: 2 November 2020 / Online: 2 November 2020 (10:06:10 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Xu, W.K.; Byun, H.; Dudley, J.P. The Role of APOBECs in Viral Replication. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1899. Xu, W.K.; Byun, H.; Dudley, J.P. The Role of APOBECs in Viral Replication. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1899.


Apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) proteins are a diverse and evolutionarily conserved family of cytidine deaminases that provide a variety of functions from tissue-specific gene expression and immunoglobulin diversity to control of viruses and retrotransposons. APOBEC family expansion has been documented among mammalian species, suggesting a powerful selection for their activity. Enzymes with a duplicated zinc-binding domain often have catalytically active and inactive domains, yet both have antiviral function. Although APOBEC antiviral function was discovered through hypermutation of HIV-1 genomes lacking an active Vif protein, much evidence indicates that APOBECs also inhibit virus replication through mechanisms other than mutagenesis. Multiple steps of the viral replication cycle may be affected, although nucleic acid replication is a primary target. Packaging of APOBECs into virions was first noted with HIV-1, yet is not a prerequisite for viral inhibition. APOBEC antagonism may occur in viral producer and recipient cells. Signatures of APOBEC activity include G-to-A and C-to-T mutations in a particular sequence context. The importance of APOBEC activity for viral inhibition is reflected in the identification of numerous viral factors, including Vif, which are dedicated to antagonism of these deaminases. Such viral antagonists often are only partially successful, leading to selection for viral variants.


APOBEC; RNA virus replication; DNA virus replication; AID; HIV-1 Vif; genome hypermutation; MMTV Rem; G-to-A mutations; viral variants


Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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