CD4 protein fragment. Molecular model of the CD4 glycoprotein, which plays a vital role in the immune system. It is found on the surface of white blood cells called T cells and binds to surface proteins on other cells and pathogenic micro-organisms. This interaction helps the T cells to recognise a threat and initiate an immune response. CD4 also binds to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus), which leads to a compromised immune system. The red ribbon seen beneath it is an international AIDS awareness symbol. Atoms are colour-coded: carbon (black), oxygen (red), nitrogen (grey) and sulphur (orange).
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