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Thursday, 12 November, 2009

Hoping for a fluorescent basket case

How HIV is assembled and released from infected cells

Although recent advances have raised hopes that a protective vaccine can be developed, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) remains a major public health problem. Much has been learned about HIV-1, the virus that causes the disease. However, basic aspects of person-to-person transmission and of the progressive intercellular infection that depletes the immune system of its vital T cells remain imperfectly understood. In a paper published today in the online journal PloS Pathogens, Professor Don Lamb’s group at the LMU Munich’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, together with colleagues in Heidelberg, describe in detail how new virus particles assemble at the membrane of infected cells, and are released to attack healthy cells nearby. The new findings could help provide clues as how to interrupt the process of intercellular viral spread. (PLoS Pathogens, November 2009)(...)

 

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