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      Species-Specific Activity of SIV Nef and HIV-1 Vpu in Overcoming Restriction by Tetherin/BST2

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          Abstract

          Tetherin, also known as BST2, CD317 or HM1.24, was recently identified as an interferon-inducible host–cell factor that interferes with the detachment of virus particles from infected cells. HIV-1 overcomes this restriction by expressing an accessory protein, Vpu, which counteracts tetherin. Since lentiviruses of the SIV smm/mac/HIV-2 lineage do not have a vpu gene, this activity has likely been assumed by other viral gene products. We found that deletion of the SIV mac239 nef gene significantly impaired virus release in cells expressing rhesus macaque tetherin. Virus release could be restored by expressing Nef in trans. However, Nef was unable to facilitate virus release in the presence of human tetherin. Conversely, Vpu enhanced virus release in the presence of human tetherin, but not in the presence of rhesus tetherin. In accordance with the species-specificity of Nef in mediating virus release, SIV Nef downregulated cell-surface expression of rhesus tetherin, but did not downregulate human tetherin. The specificity of SIV Nef for rhesus tetherin mapped to four amino acids in the cytoplasmic domain of the molecule that are missing from human tetherin, whereas the specificity of Vpu for human tetherin mapped to amino acid differences in the transmembrane domain. Nef alleles of SIV smm, HIV-2 and HIV-1 were also able to rescue virus release in the presence of both rhesus macaque and sooty mangabey tetherin, but were generally ineffective against human tetherin. Thus, the ability of Nef to antagonize tetherin from these Old World primates appears to be conserved among the primate lentiviruses. These results identify Nef as the viral gene product of SIV that opposes restriction by tetherin in rhesus macaques and sooty mangabeys, and reveal species-specificity in the activities of both Nef and Vpu in overcoming tetherin in their respective hosts.

          Author Summary

          Tetherin was recently identified as a host–cell factor that interferes with the detachment of virus particles from infected cells. HIV-1 overcomes the antiviral effects of tetherin by expressing Vpu, which mediates the degradation of tetherin. While tetherin has broad activity against diverse types of viruses, only a few of the primate AIDS viruses express Vpu. Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) does not have a vpu gene. Since SIV infection of the rhesus macaque is an important animal model for AIDS vaccine development, we set out to determine how SIV overcomes restriction by tetherin in this species. We found that the SIV Nef protein could counteract rhesus macaque tetherin, but not human tetherin. Conversely, the HIV-1 Vpu protein counteracted human tetherin, but not rhesus tetherin. The specificity of Nef for rhesus tetherin mapped to four amino acids in the cytoplasmic domain of the molecule that are missing from human tetherin, whereas the specificity of Vpu for human tetherin mapped to amino acid differences in the transmembrane domain. These observations identify a role for the SIV Nef protein in counteracting tetherin, and reveal species-specificity in the activities of both Nef and Vpu in overcoming tetherin in their respective hosts.

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          Most cited references 91

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          Site-directed mutagenesis by overlap extension using the polymerase chain reaction.

          Overlap extension represents a new approach to genetic engineering. Complementary oligodeoxyribonucleotide (oligo) primers and the polymerase chain reaction are used to generate two DNA fragments having overlapping ends. These fragments are combined in a subsequent 'fusion' reaction in which the overlapping ends anneal, allowing the 3' overlap of each strand to serve as a primer for the 3' extension of the complementary strand. The resulting fusion product is amplified further by PCR. Specific alterations in the nucleotide (nt) sequence can be introduced by incorporating nucleotide changes into the overlapping oligo primers. Using this technique of site-directed mutagenesis, three variants of a mouse major histocompatibility complex class-I gene have been generated, cloned and analyzed. Screening of mutant clones revealed at least a 98% efficiency of mutagenesis. All clones sequenced contained the desired mutations, and a low frequency of random substitution estimated to occur at approx. 1 in 4000 nt was detected. This method represents a significant improvement over standard methods of site-directed mutagenesis because it is much faster, simpler and approaches 100% efficiency in the generation of mutant product.
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            Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome.

            Here we present a draft genome sequence of the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Through comparison with the human genome, we have generated a largely complete catalogue of the genetic differences that have accumulated since the human and chimpanzee species diverged from our common ancestor, constituting approximately thirty-five million single-nucleotide changes, five million insertion/deletion events, and various chromosomal rearrangements. We use this catalogue to explore the magnitude and regional variation of mutational forces shaping these two genomes, and the strength of positive and negative selection acting on their genes. In particular, we find that the patterns of evolution in human and chimpanzee protein-coding genes are highly correlated and dominated by the fixation of neutral and slightly deleterious alleles. We also use the chimpanzee genome as an outgroup to investigate human population genetics and identify signatures of selective sweeps in recent human evolution.
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              Isolation of a human gene that inhibits HIV-1 infection and is suppressed by the viral Vif protein.

              Viruses have developed diverse non-immune strategies to counteract host-mediated mechanisms that confer resistance to infection. The Vif (virion infectivity factor) proteins are encoded by primate immunodeficiency viruses, most notably human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). These proteins are potent regulators of virus infection and replication and are consequently essential for pathogenic infections in vivo. HIV-1 Vif seems to be required during the late stages of virus production for the suppression of an innate antiviral phenotype that resides in human T lymphocytes. Thus, in the absence of Vif, expression of this phenotype renders progeny virions non-infectious. Here, we describe a unique cellular gene, CEM15, whose transient or stable expression in cells that do not normally express CEM15 recreates this phenotype, but whose antiviral action is overcome by the presence of Vif. Because the Vif:CEM15 regulatory circuit is critical for HIV-1 replication, perturbing the circuit may be a promising target for future HIV/AIDS therapies.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, New England Primate Research Center, Southborough, Massachusetts, United States of America
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, New England Primate Research Center, Southborough, Massachusetts, United States of America
                Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, United States of America
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: DTE. Performed the experiments: BJ RSM JM SW. Analyzed the data: AR. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: WN IBF WEJ. Wrote the paper: DTE.

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS Pathog
                plos
                plospath
                PLoS Pathogens
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1553-7366
                1553-7374
                May 2009
                May 2009
                15 May 2009
                : 5
                : 5
                2673686
                19436700
                09-PLPA-RA-0092R2
                10.1371/journal.ppat.1000429
                (Editor)
                Jia et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Counts
                Pages: 17
                Categories
                Research Article
                Virology/Animal Models of Infection
                Virology/Immune Evasion
                Virology/Immunodeficiency Viruses
                Virology/Mechanisms of Resistance and Susceptibility, including Host Genetics
                Virology/Virus Evolution and Symbiosis

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

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