A new study overthrows a long-held theory on how HIV finds its way into host cells. Rather than fusing directly with the host cell membrane, the virus is first engulfed by it to form a vesicle that releases its contents into the cytoplasm, a study published tomorrow (May 1) in __Cell__ reports. linkurl:The findings;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(09)00268-2 may suggest other therapeutic avenues for targeting HIV, the researchers say.
A single virus (yellow) co-labeled with a
membrane (red) and content (green) markers
migrates toward the cell nucleus and releases
its contents into the cytosol by fusing with
the endosomal membrane.

Image: Gregory Melikyan & Yuri Kim
Drawing: Norair Melikyan Images
"This is such an extensive and thorough paper that I think people are going to accept this as the dominant mode of viral entry" for HIV, said linkurl:Robert Blumenthal,;http://ccr.cancer.gov/Staff/staff.asp?profileid=5748 head of the Membrane Structure and Function Section at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick,...

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