Virology, Nebraska Center for


Date of this Version



Journal of Virology, Oct. 2007, p. 10362–10378


Copyright © 2007, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


An intact B-box 2 domain is essential for the antiretroviral activity of TRIM5α. We modeled the structure of the B-box 2 domain of TRIM5α based on the existing three-dimensional structure of the B-box 2 domain of human TRIM29. Using this model, we altered the residues predicted to be exposed on the surface of this globular structure. Most of the alanine substitutions in these residues exerted little effect on the antiretroviral activity of human TRIM5αhu or rhesus monkey TRIM5αrh. However, alteration of arginine 119 of TRIM5αhu or the corresponding arginine 121 of TRIM5αrh diminished the abilities of the proteins to restrict retroviral infection without affecting trimerization or recognition of the viral capsid. The abilities of these functionally defective TRIM5α proteins to accelerate the uncoating of the targeted retroviral capsid were abolished. Removal of the positively charged side chain from B-box 2 arginines 119/120/121 resulted in diminished proteasome-independent turnover of TRIM5α and the related restriction factor TRIMCyp. However, testing of an array of mutants revealed that the rapid turnover and retroviral restriction functions of this B-box 2 region are separable.