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Viruses 2011, 3(5), 423-428; doi:10.3390/v3050423

Caging the Beast: TRIM5α Binding to the HIV-1 Core

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
Received: 16 March 2011 / Revised: 21 April 2011 / Accepted: 21 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Editorial)
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The potent HIV-1 inhibitor TRIM5α blocks HIV-1 infection by accelerating the uncoating of HIV-1. TRIM5α is known to form higher-order self-association complexes that contribute to the avidity of TRIM5α for the HIV-1 capsid, and are essential to inhibit infection; these higher-order self-association complexes are dependent upon an intact B-box 2 domain. Even though the ability to form higher-order self-association complexes resembles the clathrin triskelion that forms a protein array, or cage, around the endocytic vesicle, evidence for the ability of TRIM5α to assemble a similar type of structure surrounding the HIV-1 core has been lacking. Recent work by Ganser-Pornillos, Chandrasekaran and colleagues has now demonstrated the ability of the restriction factor TRIM5α to “cage” or “net” the HIV-1 core by forming an hexagonal array on the surface of the viral capsid [1]. This hexagonal array is strikingly similar in design to the array formed by the clathrin triskelion on the surface of the clathrin-coated endocytic vesicle. This remarkable finding represents an important advance on our understanding of the restriction factor TRIM5α, and suggests that TRIM5α cages the HIV-1 core in order to terminate infection. The present note discusses the implications of this discovery.
Keywords: HIV-1; TRIM5α; capsid; binding; core HIV-1; TRIM5α; capsid; binding; core
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Diaz-Griffero, F. Caging the Beast: TRIM5α Binding to the HIV-1 Core. Viruses 2011, 3, 423-428.

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