Science in China Series C: Life Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 10, pp 893–902

APOBEC deaminases-mutases with defensive roles for immunity


  • Courtney Prochnow
    • Molecular and Computational BiologyUniversity of Southern California
  • Ronda Bransteitter
    • Molecular and Computational BiologyUniversity of Southern California
    • Molecular and Computational BiologyUniversity of Southern California

DOI: 10.1007/s11427-009-0133-1

Cite this article as:
Prochnow, C., Bransteitter, R. & Chen, X.S. SCI CHINA SER C (2009) 52: 893. doi:10.1007/s11427-009-0133-1


In recent years, tremendous progress has been made in the elucidation of the biological roles and molecular mechanisms of the apolioprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide (APOBEC) family of enzymes. The APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases has important functional roles within the adaptive and innate immune system. Activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID) plays a central role in the biochemical steps of somatic hypermutation and class switch recombination during antibody maturation, and the APOBEC 3 enzymes are able to inhibit the mobility of retroelements and the replication of retroviruses and DNA viruses, such as the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 and hepatitis B virus. Recent advances in structural and functional studies of the APOBEC enzymes provide new biochemical insights for how these enzymes carry out their biological roles. In this review, we provide an overview of these recent advances in the APOBEC field with a special emphasis on AID and APOBEC3G.


APOBECcytidine deaminaseactivation induced cytidine deaminationsomatic hypermutationclass switch recombinationHyperIgM 2 syndromehuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV)DNA deamination
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© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009