Perspective: APOBEC mutagenesis in drug resistance and immune escape in HIV and cancer evolution

S. Venkatesan, R. Rosenthal, N. Kanu, N. McGranahan, J. Bartek, S. A. Quezada, J. Hare, R. S. Harris, C. Swanton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


The apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like (APOBEC) mutational signature has only recently been detected in a multitude of cancers through next-generation sequencing. In contrast, APOBEC has been a focus of virology research for over a decade. Many lessons learnt regarding APOBEC within virology are likely to be applicable to cancer. In this review, we explore the parallels between the role of APOBEC enzymes in HIV and cancer evolution. We discuss data supporting the role of APOBEC mutagenesis in creating HIV genome heterogeneity, drug resistance, and immune escape variants. We hypothesize similar functions of APOBEC will also hold true in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.


  • Drug resistance
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Immune escape
  • Intratumour heterogeneity


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