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Host restriction factors in retroviral infection: promises in virus-host interaction

Yong-Hui Zheng1*, Kuan-Teh Jeang2 and Kenzo Tokunaga3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

2 The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

3 Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan

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Retrovirology 2012, 9:112  doi:10.1186/1742-4690-9-112

Published: 20 December 2012


Retroviruses have an intricate life cycle. There is much to be learned from studying retrovirus-host interactions. Among retroviruses, the primate lentiviruses have one of the more complex genome structures with three categories of viral genes: structural, regulatory, and accessory genes. Over time, we have gained increasing understanding of the lentivirus life cycle from studying host factors that support virus replication. Similarly, studies on host restriction factors that inhibit viral replication have also made significant contributions to our knowledge. Here, we review recent progress on the rapidly growing field of restriction factors, focusing on the antiretroviral activities of APOBEC3G, TRIM5, tetherin, SAMHD1, MOV10, and cellular microRNAs (miRNAs), and the counter-activities of Vif, Vpu, Vpr, Vpx, and Nef.