Visualizing HIV Entry and Egress

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the causative agent of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), a disease which was first described in the United States in the early 1980s. Since its initial discovery, HIV/AIDS has risen to become a global pandemic, with over 30 million infected individuals worldwide.

In collaboration with members of the Biochemistry Department at the University of Utah and the CHEETAH consortium, this project seeks to describe current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which HIV gains entry to and exits from its target cells, an area of intense investigation by researchers around the globe.

This project is a work-in-progress. An early "draft" animation of the process of HIV entry is shown in the animation below.

References and PDBs used

HIV capsid: [pubmed] 3P05, 3P0A
HIV gp120: 3DNN
HIV gp41: 1I5X
HIV matrix protein: 1HIW
HIV nucelocapsid protein: 1A1T
HIV accessory proteins (purple): "HIV in Blood Plasma" autoPack model
Cd4: 1WIO, 1G9M
co-receptor: 1ND8


Many thanks to Wes Sundquist, Michael Kay, Chris Hill and Adam Frost (University of Utah, Dept. of Biochemistry). The HIV capsid structure was provided by Owen Pornillos (UVa). Structures for the binding of the envelope protein to CD4 was provided by the laboratory of Sriram Subramaniam (NIH). HIV accessory proteins (purple) were created using the "HIV in Blood Plasma" autoPack model created by Graham Johnson in Art Olson's Molecular Graphics Lab at the Scripps Research Institute.

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This work by Janet Iwasa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.