Explore the Structural Biology of HIV
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is composed of two strands of RNA, 15 types of viral proteins, and a few proteins from the last host cell it infected, all surrounded by a lipid bilayer membrane. Together, these molecules allow the virus to infect cells of the immune system and force them to build new copies of the virus. Each molecule in the virus plays a role in this process, from the first steps of viral attachment to the final process of budding.
The structural proteins, viral enzymes, and accessory proteins of HIV that have been determined are highlighted in a downloadable poster and an interactive, online Flash website. Clicking on a protein in the animation reveals information about the structure and a link to the PDB entry.
For more information about the HIV virus, see the Molecule of the Month features on HIV protease, integrase, and reverse transcriptase.