Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.321, No.3, 566-573, 2004
HIV-1 and MLV Gag proteins are sufficient to recruit APOBEC3G into virus-like particles
The cytidine deaminase hAPOBEC3G is an antiviral human factor that counteracts the replication of HIV-1 in absence of the Vif protein. hAPOBEC3G is packaged into virus particles and lethally hypermutates HIV-1. In this work, we examine the mechanisms governing hAPOBEC3G packaging. By GST pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays, we show that hAPOBEC3G binds to HIV-1 Pr55 Gag and its NC domain and to the RT and IN domains contained in Pr160 Gag-Pol. We demonstrate that the expression of HIV-1 Gag is sufficient to induce the packaging of hAPOBEC3G into Gag particles. Gag-Pol polypeptides containing RT and IN domains, as well as HIV-1 genomic RNA, seem not to be necessary for hAPOBEC3G packaging. Lastly, we show that hAPOBEC3G and its murine ortholog are packaged into HIV-1 and MLV Gag particles. We conclude that the Gag polypeptides from distant retroviruses have conserved domains allowing the packaging of the host antiviral factor APOBEC3G. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.