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HIV transcription, HIV viral life cycle, illustration

David S. Goodsell

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Credit: HIV transcription, HIV viral life cycle, illustration. Credit: David S. Goodsell, The Scripps Research Institute. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Watercolour and ink on paper illustration of genetic transcription. After viral DNA has been integrated into the genome of the target cell it is infecting (usually CD4 T cells, a type of white blood cell found in the immune system), it acts as a template from which more copies of viral RNA and proteins can be made. The first step in this process is called transcription, the creation of an RNA copy (yellow) from the DNA template (green). This is initiated by the enzyme RNA polymerase (blue molecule at the centre of the image attached to DNA) and facilitated by HIV viral protein Tat and the P-TEFb complex (pink and purple structure; just above centre of image). Other proteins involved in transporting molecules in and out of the nucleus are also visible here (HIV viral protein Rev is in pink and CRM1 is in blue; bottom right of image). Width of image is approximately 100 nm. This image forms part of a series of illustrations which capture HIV at eight different points in the viral life cycle as it infects a cell and replicates.

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