Human Immunodeficiency Virus animation
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This human immunodeficiency virus model summarizes the results from more than 100 of the latest scientific publications in the fields of virology, X-ray analysis and NMR spectroscopy. The depicted spatial configurations of 17 different viral and cellular proteins found in the HIV particle are in strict accordance with known 3D structures. The viral membrane in the model includes 160,000 lipid molecules of 8 different types in the proportion found in the HIV particle.

The human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) is a retrovirus and a member of the lentivirus genus. HIV infects and destroys cells of the human immune system(CD4+ T-lymphocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells). The decrease in CD4+ T-lymphocyte levels causes the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There are two major species of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2, of which HIV-2 is less common. The HIV virion is a roughly spherical particle with a diameter measuring between 100 and 180 nm. The virion is surrounded by a cell-derived lipid membrane, which contains surface proteins. Some of these membrane proteins are products of the viral genome(surface glycoprotein gp120/gp41), and others are captured from the host cell during viral budding(e.g., ICAM-1, HLA-DR1, CD55 and others). The gp120/gp41 glycoprotein interacts with receptors on the cell surface promoting fusion of the viral and cell membranes. Other HIV surface proteins perform supporting functions. Trimers of the MA(p17) protein form a layer directly under the lipid membrane. Inside the HIV particle is a cone-shaped capsid, which is composed of CA(p24) proteins. The capsid contains two copies of positive single-stranded viral RNA bound by the NC(p7) protein and the enzymes(reverse transcriptase and integrase) necessary for replication of the virus. The HIV genome is approximately 10,000 nucleotides in length and contains 9 genes encoding 15 different proteins. The most important viral genes(open reading frames) are Gag, Pol and Env. Gag encodes the p55 protein, which is subsequently cut into the structural proteins MA, CA, NC and p6. The Pol reading frame encodes integrase, protease, and reverse transcriptase. Env encodes the two subunits of the surface glycoprotein complex. Other genes(Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu and Nef) produce accessory proteins, which modulate host cell metabolism and facilitate different stages of the HIV life cycle.

  • Project manager, 3d technologist, 3d visualizator, molecular modeller:
    Ivan Konstantinov
  • Science consultant, animator:
    Yury Stefanov, PhD
  • 3D-modeller:
    Alexander Kovalevsky
  • Science consultant:
    Yegor Voronin (Ph. D, Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise)
  • Web-technology:
    Kirill Grishanin
  • Flash-technology:
    Maxim Grishaev