Molecular biology of HIV

B. M. Peterlin, Paul A Luciw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Much has been learned about HIV in the past 5 years. Sequencing of the viral genes was followed by the expression and characterizations of their protein products in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Now, great efforts are being made to crystallize HIV proteins and examine their structures. This will allow for design and synthesis of chemical analogues that might interfere with the actions of HIV enzymes and trans-activators, block viral morphogenesis and budding, or prevent interactions between virions and cellular membranes. HIV has been isolated in many countries, from many individuals and from the same individual over time, and from different tissues in patients with distinct symptoms. These viral isolates will elucidate interactions between host immunity and HIV, determinants of viral tropism, and subtleties in the regulation of HIV gene expression. Closer examination of tat and rev might solve fundamental conundrums in retrovirology dealing with differences in the rates of initiation of transcription between the LTRs of the provirus and with the regulation of processing and splicing of viral transcripts. Cell biology of signaling, receptor mediated endocytosis and cell fusion will benefit from studies of nef, and of the interactions between env products, CD4 and other host receptors. Some of the above processes will be found responsible for HIV-induced cytopathology and cell death. As a consequence of these investigations, we hope that a chink in the armour of HIV will be found leading to therapeutics that will block the virus and ameliorate the symptoms or cure AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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