Transient details of HIV genome packaging captured

27 febrero 2015

Once HIV-1 has hijacked a host cell to make copies of its own RNA genome and viral proteins, it must assemble these components into new virus particles. The orchestration of this intricate assembly process falls to a viral protein known as Gag. For one thing, Gag must be able to discern viral RNA from the host cell’s and squirrel it away inside new viral particles — no easy task considering only two to three percent of the RNA found in the cytoplasm is from HIV-1. Exactly how Gag selectively packages viral RNA has been widely speculated but never directly observed.