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HIV translation, HIV viral life cycle, illustration

David S. Goodsell

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Credit: HIV translation, 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 translation. 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 transcription (creating RNA using DNA as a template), which is followed by protein translation (creating proteins using RNA as a template). In this image, ribosomes (green; large structures) read HIV RNA (yellow) in order to make viral Gag proteins (red). Gag proteins play a vital role in virus assembly. 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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