Truncation of TRIM5 in the Feliformia explains the absence of retroviral restriction in cells of the domestic cat

J Virol. 2009 Aug;83(16):8270-5. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00670-09. Epub 2009 Jun 3.


TRIM5alpha mediates a potent retroviral restriction phenotype in diverse mammalian species. Here, we identify a TRIM5 transcript in cat cells with a truncated B30.2 capsid binding domain and ablated restrictive function which, remarkably, is conserved across the Feliformia. Cat TRIM5 displayed no restriction activity, but ectopic expression conferred a dominant negative effect against human TRIM5alpha. Our findings explain the absence of retroviral restriction in cat cells and suggest that disruption of the TRIM5 locus has arisen independently at least twice in the Carnivora, with implications concerning the evolution of the host and pathogen in this taxon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / genetics
  • Animals, Domestic / metabolism
  • Animals, Domestic / virology
  • Antiviral Restriction Factors
  • Carnivora / genetics
  • Carnivora / metabolism
  • Carnivora / virology*
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cat Diseases / virology*
  • Cats
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Mammals / classification
  • Mammals / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Retroviridae / metabolism
  • Retroviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Retroviridae Infections / virology
  • Sequence Deletion*
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases


  • Antiviral Restriction Factors
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Tripartite Motif Proteins
  • TRIM5 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases