T. LARSEN, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY T. LARSEN, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
HIV protease inhibitor drug. Computer model of a protease inhibitor drug (purple) bound to an HIV protease enzyme (red). HIV is the virus causing AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The blue sphere above the drug is a water molecule which has a structural role in the active site of the protease. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) uses protease enzymes to cut larger proteins into smaller active parts. These active parts are essential for the virus' reproduction. Drugs which prevent this process are of value in slowing or even halting the progress of the disease, especi- ally when used in combination with other drugs.
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