IFITM proteins inhibit HIV-1 protein synthesis

Wing-Yie Jason Lee, Rebecca Menhua Fu, Liang Chen, Richard D. Sloan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) inhibit the cellular entry of a broad range of viruses, but it has been suspected that for HIV-1 IFITMs may also inhibit a post-integration replicative step. We show that IFITM expression reduces HIV-1 viral protein synthesis by preferentially excluding viral mRNA transcripts from translation and thereby restricts viral production. Codon-optimization of proviral DNA rescues viral translation, implying that IFITM-mediated restriction requires recognition of viral RNA elements. In addition, we find that expression of the viral accessory protein Nef can help overcome the IFITM-mediated inhibition of virus production. Our studies identify a novel role for IFITMs in inhibiting HIV replication at the level of translation, but show that the effects can be overcome by the lentiviral protein Nef.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14551
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2018


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