Human Immunodeficiency Virus - Essay Example

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The surface of these virions is not uniform but is studded with numerous spikes. These spikes help HIV in binding to the membrane of human cells and facilitate its entry. Each virion measures around 0.1 micrometer. The spikes are made up of protein matter namely, the proteins gp120 and gp41. According to "BioAfrica - HIV-1 gp41 (glycoprotein 41) sequence, structure and function information."  “The gp120-gp41 complex occurs as a trimer on the surface of the virion. It contains an N-terminal fusogenic domain, which mediates the fusion of viral and cellular membranes. The interaction between gp120 with cellular receptors triggers gp41 to extend (forming a prehairpin intermediate), which interacts with the plasma membrane of the target cell. The extended prehairpin intermediate collapses into a trimer-of-hairpins structure that brings the amino- and carboxyl-terminal regions of the gp41 extra cellular domain into close proximity bringing the amino- and carboxyl-terminal regions of the extra cellular domain together forces the membranes together in a manner that facilitates membrane fusion.”The outermost layer—the viral envelope is made up of fatty material. The matrix is a layer that is present just beneath the viral envelope and is made of the protein p17. The core or capsid is made up of a protein called p24 and is usually bullet shaped. Inside the core are three enzymes required for HIV replication called reverse transcriptase, integrase and protease. Also held within the core is HIV's genetic material. ...Show more


In the paper “Human Immunodeficiency Virus” the author analyzes HIV as human immunodeficiency virus. It belongs to the retrovirus family of viruses. It is an infectious agent that is responsible causing for AIDS. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome that leaves the victim vulnerable.

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