The lentiviral envelope--gp120

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The lentiviral envelope--gp120

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Lentiviral proteins HIV matrix protein

A trimer of the HIV gp120 protein. The structure is from Liu et al. 2008 [1]

Lentiviral particles are bounded by a lipid bilayer derived from the host cell cytoplasmic membrane (green in Figure 1).  Studding the lipid bilayer are virus-encoded envelope proteins (cyan and cherry), that are responsible for binding to cells and directing entry. The envelope spike is comprised of a trimer of two different proteins. One is gp120, which comprises the outer portion of the trimer (cyan; right). The inner portion is the gp41 protein, which is involved in membrane fusion.










  1. Liu J, Bartesaghi A, Borgnia MJ, Sapiro G, Subramaniam S. 2008. Molecular architecture of native HIV-1 gp120 trimers. Nature 455: 109-113.