The retroviral restriction factor TRIM5α

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Retroviruses are obligate intracellular parasites that have coevolved with their hosts for millions of years. It is therefore not surprising that retroviruses take advantage of numerous host factors during their life cycle. In addition to positive cellular factors that are of use to the virus, host cells have also evolved intracellular proteins to antagonize the retroviral replication cycle. Such inhibitory cellular factors have been called retroviral restriction factors. Recently, several such restriction factors have been cloned, including Friend virus susceptibility factor 1, apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic proteins 3F and 3G, and ZAP. Here, we review the explosion of publications from the past 2 years concerning TRIM5, a host factor that potently inhibits HIV-1 and other retroviruses.

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