Human APOBEC3 (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing catalytic polypeptide-like 3) enzymes are capable of inhibiting a wide range of endogenous and exogenous viruses using deaminase and deaminase-independent mechanisms. These enzymes are essential components of our innate immune system, as evidenced by (a) their strong positive selection and expansion in primates, (b) the evolution of viral counter-defense mechanisms, such as proteasomal degradation mediated by HIV Vif, and (c) hypermutation and inactivation of a large number of integrated HIV-1 proviruses. Numerous APOBEC3 single nucleotide polymorphisms, haplotypes, and splice variants have been identified in humans. Several of these variants have been reported to be associated with differential antiviral immunity. This review focuses on the current knowledge in the field about these natural variations and their roles in infectious diseases.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Viruses, v. 13, issue 7, 1366.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This research was funded by NIAID R21 AI138793.