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HIV-1 entry and its inhibition.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania, 301C Johnson Pavilion, 3610 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Entry of HIV-1 virions into cells is a complex and dynamic process carried out by envelope (Env) glycoproteins on the surface of the virion that promote the thermodynamically unfavorable fusion of highly stable viral and target cell membranes. Insight gained from studies of the mechanism of viral entry allowed insight into the design of novel inhibitors of HIV-1 entry, several of which are now in clinical trials. This review highlights the mechanism by which viral and cellular proteins mediate entry of HIV-1 into permissive cells, with an emphasis on targeting this process in the design of novel therapies that target distinct steps of the entry process, including antagonizing receptor binding events and blocking conformational changes intimately involved in membrane fusion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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