Nucleic acids research

Intrinsic restriction activity by apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme APOBEC1 against the mobility of autonomous retrotransposons.

PMID 21398638


The ability of mammalian cytidine deaminases encoded by the APOBEC3 (A3) genes to restrict a broad number of endogenous retroelements and exogenous retroviruses, including murine leukemia virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1, is now well established. The RNA editing family member apolipoprotein B (apo B)-editing catalytic subunit 1 (APOBEC1; A1) from a variety of mammalian species, a protein involved in lipid transport and which mediates C-U deamination of mRNA for apo B, has also been shown to modify a range of exogenous retroviruses, but its activity against endogenous retroelements remains unclear. Here, we show in cell culture-based retrotransposition assays that A1 family proteins from multiple mammalian species can also reduce the mobility and infectivity potential of LINE-1 (long interspersed nucleotide sequence-1, L1) and long-terminal repeats (LTRs) retrotransposons (or endogenous retroviruses), such as murine intracisternal A-particle (IAP) and MusD sequences. The anti-L1 activity of A1 was mainly mediated by a deamination-independent mechanism, and was not affected by subcellular localization of the proteins. In contrast, the inhibition of LTR-retrotransposons appeared to require the deaminase activity of A1 proteins. Thus, the AID/APOBEC family proteins including A1s employ multiple mechanisms to regulate the mobility of autonomous retrotransposons in several mammalian species.