Foamy viruses (FVs) are unconventional retroviruses with a replication strategy that is significantly different from orthoretroviruses and bears some homology to that of hepadnaviruses. Although some cellular proteins, such as APOBEC3, have been reported to block FVs, no restriction by Trim5α has been described to date. The sensitivity of three FV isolates of human-chimpanzee or prototypic (PFV), macaque (SFVmac), and feline (FFV) origin to a variety of primate Trim5αs was therefore tested. PFV and SFVmac were restricted by Trim5αs from most New World monkeys, but not from other primates, whereas FFV-based vectors were restricted by Trim5αs from the great apes gorilla and orangutan. Trim5αs from Old World monkeys did not restrict any FV isolate tested. Capuchin Trim5α was unique, as it restricted SFVmac and FFV but not PFV. Trim5α specificity for FVs was determined by the B30.2 domain, interestingly involving, in some instances, the same residues of the variable regions previously implicated as major determinants for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 restriction. FVs with chimeric Gags were made to map the viral determinants of sensitivity to restriction. The N-terminal half of the Gag molecule was found to contain the regions that control susceptibility. This region most likely corresponds to the capsid of conventional retroviruses. Due to their unique replication strategy, FVs should provide a valuable new system to examine the mechanism of retroviral restriction by Trim5α.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science