Sole copy of Z2-type human cytidine deaminase APOBEC3H has inhibitory activity against retrotransposons and HIV-1

Lindi Tan, Phuong Thi Nguyen Sarkis, Tao Wang, Chunjuan Tian, Xiao Fang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human cytidine deaminase apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing catalytic polypeptide-like 3 (APOBEC3) proteins have been classified as either Z1-or Z2-type cytidine deaminases on the basis of phylogenetic analysis of their catalytic domains. Despite the identification of a number of Z1-type domain-containing cytidine deaminases, only one copy of Z2-type cytidine deaminase has been detected in each of the mammalian species evaluated thus far. Z1-type human APOBEC3 proteins are known to exhibit broad activities against diverse retroelements. However, the potential role of the only human Z2-type cytidine deaminase, APOBEC3H (A3H), in the restriction of retroelements has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we demonstrate that human A3H is a potent inhibitor of non-LTR LINE-1 transposition. Interestingly, it was also as efficient as A3G in inhibiting Alu retrotransposition, despite its poor association with Alu RNA. We have further demonstrated, for the first time, that human APOBEC3DE is also a potent inhibitor of Alu retrotransposition. Variants of A3H have divergent antiviral activities against HIV-1-Vif-deficient viruses. Unlike the anti-HIV-1 cytidine deaminases A3G and A3F, A3H is moderately regulated by interferons. These observations suggest that human Z2-type cytidine deaminase A3H variants have varying intrinsic abilities to restrict retroelements and that various APOBEC3 proteins may have evolved distinct inhibitory mechanisms against retroelements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Antiviral
  • Evolution
  • G to A hypermutation
  • L1
  • Vif
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Sole copy of Z2-type human cytidine deaminase APOBEC3H has inhibitory activity against retrotransposons and HIV-1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this