Reduced APOBEC3H variant anti-viral activities are associated with altered RNA binding activities

Anjie Zhen, Juan Du, Xiaohong Zhou, Yong Xiong, Xiao Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


APOBEC3H (A3H) is a member of the APOBEC3 family of proteins with varying activities against retroviruses and retrotransposons. The A3H gene contains several single nucleotide polymorphisms and up to seven haplotypes have been detected in humans. Although variations in anti-viral function among A3H haplotypes are not fully understood, only 15N105R-containing A3H variants are known to have potent activities against Vif-deficient HIV-1. Unique motif RLYY(F/Y)W of APOBEC3G (A3G) and APOBEC3F (A3F) required for 7SL RNA binding and HIV-1 incorporation is also conserved in all A3H variants. Like A3G, A3H HapII also demonstrated high binding affinity to host small RNAs such as 7SL and Y RNAs. Mutation of a critical amino acid, W115A resulted in reduced expression level, decreased affinity for 7SL RNA, impairment of virion packaging and reduced anti-viral activity. By comparison, A3H HapI had lower binding affinities to host small RNAs and reduced efficiency of virion incorporation, resulting in significantly reduced anti-viral activity. The SNP ΔN15 commonly found in A3H HapIII and HapIV abolished their abilities to associate with RNAs, and A3H HapIIΔ15N failed to package into HIV-1 virions or exhibited any anti-viral activity. Finally, we showed that A3H variants had distinct cellular localization patterns, which correlated with their different RNA binding affinities. Thus, Pol-III RNA such as 7SL RNA binding is a conserved feature of potent anti-HIV human APOBEC3 cytidine deaminases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere38771
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 30 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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