Primate and feline lentiviruses in current intrinsic immunity research: The cat is back

Eric M. Poeschla

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Retroviral restriction factor research is explaining long-standing lentiviral mysteries. Asking why a particular retrovirus cannot complete a critical part of its life cycle in cells of a particular species has been the starting point for numerous discoveries, including heretofore elusive functions of HIV-1 accessory genes. The potential for therapeutic application is substantial. Analyzing the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) life cycle has been instrumental and the source of some surprising observations in this field. FIV is restricted in cells of various primates by several restriction factors including APOBEC3 proteins and, uniquely, TRIM proteins from both Old and New World monkeys. In contrast, the feline genome does not encode functional TRIM5alpha or TRIMCyp proteins and HIV-1 is primarily blocked in feline cells by APOBEC3 proteins. These can be overcome by inserting FIV vif or even SIVmac vif into HIV-1. The domestic cat and its lentivirus are positioned to offer strategic research opportunities as the field moves forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 15 2011


  • FIV
  • HIV-1
  • Innate immunity
  • Lentivirus
  • Restriction factor
  • TRIM5alpha
  • TRIMCyp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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