The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Vpu Protein: Roles in Virus Release and CD4 Downregulation
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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a complex retrovirus that encodes a number of novel regulatory proteins (Tat, Rev, Nef, Vpr, Vif and Vpu) in addition to the canonical structural proteins (Gag, Pol, and Env) that are common to all retroviruses. HIV-1 is the causative agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The complexity of HIV genomes reveals the complex nature of host-virus interactions in AIDS pathogenesis (Levy 1993; Weiss 1993). Some of the HIV-1 proteins are involved in the regulation of gene expression in virus-infected cells. For example, the Tat and Rev proteins are essential for HIV replication in tissue culture (Cullen 1992). These proteins have been shown to exert their effects through specific interactions with viral RNA: trans-acting response element (TAR) in the case of Tat and Rev response element (RRE) in the case of Rev. The mechanism of action of these proteins will not be considered in this review, as they will be discussed elsewhere in this volume.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Cytoplasmic Domain Envelope Glycoprotein Virus Release
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