Natural APOBEC3C variants can elicit differential HIV-1 restriction activity

Anderson B.D., Ikeda T., Moghadasi S.A., Martin A.S., Brown W.L., & Harris R.S.


The APOBEC3 (A3) family of DNA cytosine deaminases provides an innate barrier to infection by retroviruses including HIV-1. A total of five enzymes, A3C, A3D, A3F, A3G and A3H, are degraded by the viral accessory protein Vif and expressed at high levels in CD4+ T cells, the primary reservoir for HIV-1 replication in vivo. Apart from A3C, all of these enzymes mediate restriction of Vif-deficient HIV-1. However, a rare variant of human A3C (Ile188) was shown recently to restrict Vif-deficient HIV-1 in a 293T-based single cycle infection system. The potential activity of this naturally occurring A3C variant has yet to be characterized in a T cell-based spreading infection system. Here we employ a combination of Cas9/gRNA disruption and transient and stable protein expression to assess the roles of major Ser188 and minor Ile188 A3C variants in HIV-1 restriction in T cell lines.