Viral Life Cycle

HIV infection of cells begins when the envelope glycoprotein (Env) of the virus binds to both CD4 and a coreceptor that is a member of the chemokine receptor family (Fig. 20-5). The viral particles that initiate infection are usually in the blood, semen, or other body fluids of one individual and are introduced into another individual by sexual contact, needle stick, or transplacental passage.

Lipid bilayer p17 matrix

Lipid bilayer p17 matrix

gp120

Reverse transcriptase Protease Integrase p24 capsid

Chemokine receptor gp120

Reverse transcriptase Protease Integrase p24 capsid

Chemokine receptor

FIGURE 20-3 Structure of HIV-1. An HIV-1 virion is shown next to a T cell surface. HIV-1 consists of two identical strands of RNA (the viral genome) and associated enzymes, including reverse transcriptase, integrase, and protease, packaged in a cone-shaped core composed of p24 capsid protein with a surrounding p17 protein matrix, all surrounded by a phospho-lipid membrane envelope derived from the host cell. Virally encoded membrane proteins (gp41 and gp120) are bound to the envelope. CD4 and chemokine receptors on the host cell surface function as HIV-1 receptors. (© 2000 Terese Winslow.)

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