Proteasomal degradation of APOBEC3G is a critical step for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. However, the necessity for polyubiquitination of APOBEC3G in this process is still controversial. In this study, we showed that although macaque simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVmac) Vif is more stable than HIV-1 Vif in human cells, SIVmac Vif induces degradation of APBOEC3G as efficiently as HIV-1 Vif. Overexpression of APOBEC3G or lysine-free APOBEC3G stabilized HIV-1 Vif, indicating that APOBEC3G degradation is independent of the degradation of Vif. Furthermore, an in vivo polyubiquitination assay showed that lysine-free APOBEC3G was also polyubiquitinated. These data suggest that polyubiquitination of APOBEC3G, not that of HIV-1 Vif, is crucial for APOBEC3G degradation.
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