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X-ray crystal structures of native HIV-1 capsid protein reveal conformational variability

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Science  03 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6243, pp. 99-103
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5936

Retroviral capsids in their native form

Capsid proteins of retroviruses form protective lattices around viral RNA molecules. The precise molecular details of how individual, full-length capsid proteins assemble to shield the viral genome; however, are not well understood. Obal et al. and Gres et al. now report high resolution crystal structures of the full length capsid proteins from Bovine Leukemia Virus and HIV-1, respectively. The two studies complement each other to reveal the dynamic nature of capsid protein assembly and of how individual capsid proteins interact in the lattice. The findings may have relevance for drug design.

Science, this issue p. 95; see also p. 99

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