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Virology. 2007 Mar 30;360(1):92-104. Epub 2006 Nov 9.

Double-labelled HIV-1 particles for study of virus-cell interaction.

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Department of Virology, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 324, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) delivers its genome to a host cell through fusion of the viral envelope with a cellular membrane. While the viral and cellular proteins involved in entry have been analyzed in detail, the dynamics of virus-cell fusion are largely unknown. Single virus tracing (SVT) provides the unique opportunity to visualize viral particles in real time allowing direct observation of the dynamics of this stochastic process. For this purpose, we developed a double-coloured HIV derivative carrying a green fluorescent label attached to the viral matrix protein combined with a red label fused to the viral Vpr protein designed to distinguish between complete virions and subviral particles lacking MA after membrane fusion. We present here a detailed characterization of this novel tool together with exemplary live cell imaging studies, demonstrating its suitability for real-time analyses of HIV-cell interaction.

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