Document Type


Publication Date

August 2006


This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in the Journal of Virology, 80(15):7645-7657, August 2006. It is available from the publisher at Copyright is retained by the American Society for Microbiology.


The interferon (IFN) system, including various IFNs and IFN-inducible gene products, is well known for its potent innate immunity against wide-range viruses. Recently, a family of cytidine deaminases, functioning as another innate immunity against retroviral infection, has been identified. However, its regulation remains largely unknown. In this report, we demonstrate that through a regular IFN-{alpha}/ß signal transduction pathway, IFN-{alpha} can significantly enhance the expression of apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme-catalytic polypeptide-like 3G (APOBEC3G) in human primary resting but not activated CD4 T cells and the amounts of APOBEC3G associated with a low molecular mass. Interestingly, short-time treatments of newly infected resting CD4 T cells with IFN-{alpha} will significantly inactivate human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) at its early stage. This inhibition can be counteracted by APOBEC3G-specific short interfering RNA, indicating that IFN-{alpha}-induced APOBEC3G plays a key role in mediating this anti-HIV-1 process. Our data suggest that APOBEC3G is also a member of the IFN system, at least in resting CD4 T cells. Given that the IFN-{alpha}/APOBEC3G pathway has potent anti-HIV-1 capability in resting CD4 T cells, augmentation of this innate immunity barrier could prevent residual HIV-1 replication in its native reservoir in the post-highly active antiretroviral therapy era.