Molecular Analysis of Receptor Binding and Viral Tropism
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the etiologic agent of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) displays a selective tropism for CD4-positive lymphocytes and for CD4-positive cells of the mononuclear-phagocyte lineage. Infection of target cells is initiated by the specific interaction of HIV envelope protein gpl20 and the CD4 molecule on the cell surface1,2,3. Despite extensive genetic variation of gpl20 among different HIV isolates, each uses the CD4 molecule as a cellular receptor. Furthermore, both the HIV-1 and HIV-2 interact with the same epitopes on the CD4 molecule4,5 while the extracellular envelope proteins of these two viruses display little antigenic cross-reactivity and share only 40% overall amino acid identity6. This suggests that conserved regions of gpl20 are involved in binding to the CD4 molecule.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type U937 Cell Envelope Protein Recombinant Vaccinia Virus
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