NEBION Publications

Linking AID and APOBECs with SARS-CoV-2

Link to Press Release


AID and APOBECs as Multifaceted Intrinsic Virus-Restricting Factors: Emerging Concepts in the Light of COVID-19

Anastasia Meshcheryakova et al.

Frontiers in Immunology, Volume 12, 2021, Article 690416


The AID (activation-induced cytidine deaminase)/APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic subunit) family with its multifaceted mode of action emerges as potent intrinsic host antiviral system that acts against a variety of DNA and RNA viruses including coronaviruses. All family members are cytosine-to-uracil deaminases that either have a profound role in driving a strong and specific humoral immune response (AID) or restricting the virus itself by a plethora of mechanisms (APOBECs). In this article, we highlight some of the key aspects apparently linking the AID/APOBECs and SARS-CoV-2. Among those is our discovery that APOBEC4 shows high expression in cell types and anatomical parts targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Additional focus is given by us to the lymphoid structures and AID as the master regulator of germinal center reactions, which result inantibody production by plasma and memory B cells. We propose the dissection of the AID/APOBECs gene signature towards decisive determinants of the patient-specific and/or the patient group-specific antiviral response. Finally, the patient-specific mapping of the AID/APOBEC polymorphisms should be considered in the light of COVID-19.