APOBEC3s (A3s) are single-stranded DNA cytosine deaminases that provide innate immune defences against retroviruses and mobile elements. A3s are specific to eutherian mammals because no direct homologs exist at the syntenic genomic locus in metatherian (marsupial) or prototherian (monotreme) mammals. However, the A3s in these species have the likely evolutionary precursors, the antibody gene deaminase AID and the RNA/DNA editing enzyme APOBEC1 (A1). Here, we used cell culture-based assays to determine whether opossum A1 restricts the infectivity of retroviruses including human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and the mobility of LTR/non-LTR retrotransposons. Opossum A1 partially inhibited HIV-1, as well as simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), murine leukemia virus (MLV), and the retrotransposon MusD. The mechanism of inhibition required catalytic activity, except for human LINE1 (L1) restriction, which was deamination-independent. These results indicate that opossum A1 functions as an innate barrier to infection by retroviruses such as HIV-1, and controls LTR/non-LTR retrotransposition in marsupials.
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