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Two types of HIV have been characterized: HIV-1 and HIV-2.
HIV-1 is the virus that was initially discovered and termed both lymphadenopathy associated virus (LAV) and human T-lymphotropic virus 3 (HTLV-III).
The vif protein (p23) prevents the action of APOBEC3G (a cellular protein that deaminates cytidine to uridine in the single-stranded viral DNA and/or interferes with reverse transcription The ends of each strand of HIV RNA contain an RNA sequence called a long terminal repeat (LTR).
Regions in the LTR act as switches to control production of new viruses and can be triggered by proteins from either HIV or the host cell.
Upon entry into the target cell, the viral RNA genome is converted (reverse transcribed) into double-stranded DNA by a virally encoded enzyme, reverse transcriptase, that is transported along with the viral genome in the virus particle.
The resulting viral DNA is then imported into the cell nucleus and integrated into the cellular DNA by a virally encoded enzyme, integrase, and host co-factors.
This is one of the most densely glycosylated molecules known and the density is sufficiently high to prevent the normal maturation process of glycans during biogenesis in the endoplasmic and Golgi apparatus.
Indeed, macrophages play a key role in several critical aspects of HIV infection.
They appear to be the first cells infected by HIV and perhaps the source of HIV production when CD4 cells become depleted in the patient.
The TAR may also be processed into micro RNAs that regulate the apoptosis genes ERCC1 and IER3.
The rev protein (p19) is involved in shuttling RNAs from the nucleus and the cytoplasm by binding to the RRE RNA element.