SCI-VIS IFC-CNR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCI-VIS IFC-CNR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) (upper particle) surface proteins binding with receptors on the surface of a host T cell (lower particle). The grey 'spikes' on the HIV particle are gp120, a viral envelope protein which has a specific binding site for CD4 receptor proteins found on human T cells. Following the binding of gp120 and CD4, further binding can take place including binding of gp120 with a co-receptor, CCR5 or CXCR4. Finally, the viral particle gains entry to the host cell through fusion of the virus and host cell membranes.
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