, Volume 69, Issue 8, pp 1211-1259

Protein intrinsic disorder as a flexible armor and a weapon of HIV-1

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Many proteins and protein regions are disordered in their native, biologically active states. These proteins/regions are abundant in different organisms and carry out important biological functions that complement the functional repertoire of ordered proteins. Viruses, with their highly compact genomes, small proteomes, and high adaptability for fast change in their biological and physical environment utilize many of the advantages of intrinsic disorder. In fact, viral proteins are generally rich in intrinsic disorder, and intrinsically disordered regions are commonly used by viruses to invade the host organisms, to hijack various host systems, and to help viruses in accommodation to their hostile habitats and to manage their economic usage of genetic material. In this review, we focus on the structural peculiarities of HIV-1 proteins, on the abundance of intrinsic disorder in viral proteins, and on the role of intrinsic disorder in their functions.