The Journal of biological chemistry 2017 02 09292(13) 5349-5363 doi 10.1074/jbc.M116.765842
Cyclin F protein, also known as FBXO1, is the largest among all cyclins and oscillates in the cell cycle like other cyclins. Apart from being a G2/M cyclin, cyclin F functions as the substrate-binding subunit of SCF(cyclin F) E3 ubiquitin ligase. In a gene expression analysis performed to identify novel gene modulations associated with cell cycle dysregulation during HIV-1 infection in CD4(+) T cells, we observed down-regulation of the cyclin F gene (CCNF). Later, using gene overexpression and knockdown studies, we identified cyclin F as negatively influencing HIV-1 viral infectivity without any significant impact on virus production. Subsequently, we found that cyclin F negatively regulates the expression of viral protein Vif (viral infectivity factor) at the protein level. We also identified a novel host-pathogen interaction between cyclin F and Vif protein in T cells during HIV-1 infection. Mutational analysis of a cyclin F-specific amino acid motif in the C-terminal region of Vif indicated rescue of the protein from cyclin F-mediated down-regulation. Subsequently, we showed that Vif is a novel substrate of the SCF(cyclin F) E3 ligase, where cyclin F mediates the ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of Vif through physical interaction. Finally, we showed that cyclin F augments APOBEC3G expression through degradation of Vif to regulate infectivity of progeny virions. Taken together, our results demonstrate that cyclin F is a novel F-box protein that functions as an intrinsic cellular regulator of HIV-1 Vif and has a negative regulatory effect on the maintenance of viral infectivity by restoring APOBEC3G expression.