Building a super elongation complex for HIV
AIDS, which is estimated to have claimed the lives of more than 30 million people worldwide, is caused by HIV, a member of the lentivirus family of single-stranded RNA viruses. HIV infects cells that belong to the immune system; when the virus enters a cell, a viral enzyme converts HIV RNA into double-stranded DNA through a process called reverse transcription. The viral DNA then moves to the nucleus, where another viral enzyme integrates it into the host cell’s own DNA. From this point onwards, the virus can either remain latent (and invisible to the host immune system) or it can begin to replicate to produce more virus particles. To produce its genetic material, HIV ‘hijacks’ the cell’s gene expression machinery, forcing a cellular enzyme called RNA polymerase II to transcribe viral DNA along with the cell’s own DNA. A better understanding of the host cell protein complex that helps HIV replicate inside cells offers the possibility of new therapeutic targets: http://goo.gl/ipOAa
Full paper: http://goo.gl/n05dE
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Tags: Biology, Google+, HIV/AIDS, Microbiology, MicrobiologyBytes, Science, Virology, virus