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SAMHD1 Host Restriction Factor: A Link with Innate Immune Sensing of Retrovirus Infection

Sze, Alexandre, Olagnier, David, Lin, Rongtuan, van Grevenynghe, Julien, Hiscott, John
Journal of Molecular Biology 2013 v.425 pp. 4981-4994
DNA, Human immunodeficiency virus 2, immune response, mutation, phosphorylation, receptors, reverse transcription, viruses
SAMHD1 [sterile alpha motif and histidine-aspartic domain (HD) containing protein 1] is the most recent addition to a unique group of host restriction factors that limit retroviral replication at distinct stages of the viral life cycle. SAMHD1 is a deoxynucleoside triphosphate triphosphohydrolase that degrades the intracellular pool of deoxynucleoside triphosphates available during early reverse transcription. SAMHD1 activity is blocked by the Vpx accessory function present in human immunodeficiency virus type 2 and SIVsm. Mutations in SAMHD1 are associated with the autoimmune disorder Aicardi–Goutières syndrome, thus emphasizing its role in regulation of the immune response. SAMHD1 antiretroviral activity is modulated by post-translational modifications, cell-cycle-dependent functions and cytokine-mediated changes. Innate receptors that sense retroviral DNA intermediates are the focus of intense study, and recent studies have established a link among SAMHD1 restriction, innate sensing of DNA and protective immune responses. Cell-cycle-dependent regulation of SAMHD1 by phosphorylation and the increasingly broad range of viruses inhibited by SAMHD1 further emphasize the importance of these mechanisms of host restriction. This review highlights current knowledge regarding SAMHD1 regulation and its impact on innate immune signaling and retroviral restriction.