HIV Interplay with SAMHD1

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Science  16 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6074, pp. 1313-1314
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221057

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New insights into the complex interplay between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and their primate hosts are being gleaned from studies of viral accessory proteins. It is now apparent that these proteins (which are often dispensable for replication in cell culture) frequently antagonize host innate and adaptive immune responses. In several cases, accessory proteins repress specific host cell inhibitors of infection known as restriction factors (1). That the genes encoding restriction factors have been subjected to Darwinian selection pressure suggests the evolutionary importance of their function (2, 3). These general themes have recently been reprised through studies on the Vpx accessory protein of HIV-2/SIVsmm and the discovery of its host cell target called sterile alpha motif (SAM) and histidine/aspartic acid (HD) domain–containing protein 1 (SAMHD1).