Infoscience

Journal article

The specificity of TRIM5{alpha}-mediated restriction is influenced by its coiled-coil domain.

Retroviruses are both powerful evolutionary forces and dangerous threats to genome integrity. As such, they have imposed strong selective pressure on their hosts, notably triggering the emergence of restriction factors, such as TRIM5alpha, that act as potent barriers to their cross-species transmission. TRIM5alpha orthologues from different primates have distinct retroviral restriction patterns, largely dictated by the sequence of their C-terminal PRYSPRY domain, which binds the capsid protein of incoming virions. Here, by combining genetic and functional analyses of human and squirrel monkey TRIM5alpha, we demonstrate that the coiled-coil domain of this protein, so far essentially known for mediating oligomerization, also conditions the spectrum of antiretroviral activity. Furthermore, we identify three coiled-coil residues responsible for this effect, one of which has been under positive selection during primate evolution, notably in New World monkeys. These results indicate that the PRYSPRY and coiled-coil domains cooperate to determine the specificity of TRIM5alpha-mediated capture of retroviral capsids, shedding new light on this complex event.

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