Counteraction of the multifunctional restriction factor tetherin

Frontiers in Microbiology
Daniel Sauter


The interferon-inducible restriction factor tetherin (also known as CD317, BST-2 or HM1.24) has emerged as a key component of the antiviral immune response. Initially, tetherin was shown to restrict replication of various enveloped viruses by inhibiting the release of budding virions from infected cells. More recently, it has become clear that tetherin also acts as a pattern recognition receptor inducing NF-κB-dependent proinflammatory gene expression in virus infected cells. Whereas the ability to restrict virion release is highly conserved among mammalian tetherin orthologs and thus probably an ancient function of this protein, innate sensing seems to be an evolutionarily recent activity. The potent and broad antiviral activity of tetherin is reflected by the fact that many viruses evolved means to counteract this restriction factor. A continuous arms race with viruses has apparently driven the evolution of different isoforms of tetherin with different functional properties. Interestingly, tetherin has also been implicated in cellular processes that are unrelated to immunity, such as the organization of the apical actin network and membrane microdomains or stabilization of the Golgi apparatus. In this review, I summarize our ...Continue Reading


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