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Physical Chemistry Seminar


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Structural biology of HIV-1 morphogenesis

HIV-1 initially assembles as a non-infectious, immature virus particle that must undergo maturation in order to become infectious. Assembly and maturation are driven by so-called molecular switches, which are small polypeptide elements
that change in conformation to control both processes. Our group has had a longstanding interest in these steps of HIV-1 morphogenesis, which are proven targets for anti-viral therapeutics. I will discuss some recent published and unpublished work that provide new insights on how a molecular switch – called the CA-SP1 boundary – controls both HIV-1 assembly and maturation. This work has important
implications on our understanding of these critical steps in HIV-1 replication, and how small molecules called “maturation inhibitors” disrupt these processes.