HIV virus T cell recognition apparatus, molecular model

HIV virus T cell recognition apparatus, molecular model

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Credit: RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: HIV virus T cell recognition apparatus. Molecular model of a section through an HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) virus particle (top) showing a gp120 glycoprotein (red, lower right) and gp41 fusion protein (yellow, lower right), which it uses to recognise and fuse with T lymphocyte white blood cells (not seen). T cells are part of the cell-mediated immune system and play a critical role in the body's immune response. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). It specifically targets and kills T cells, causing severe damage to the immune response and leaving patients vulnerable to normally harmless diseases. The HIV particle recognises T cells using the gp120 glycoprotein and fuses with them using the gp41 fusion protein.

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