CHEETAH—Cellular Host Elements in Egress, Trafficking, and Assembly of HIV

Image showing how a budding HIV particle is organized by the viral Gag (gold/tan tones) and Gag-Pol proteins (gold tones plus green and yellow) in complex with the viral RNA (blue), and showing how ESCRT-III subunits (turquoise) localize and constrict the bud neck and are recycled by the hexameric VPS4 ATPase (purple) during the budding process.

Credit: Illustration by Janet Iwasa, based upon structures of Gag, ALIX, ESCRT-III and VPS4 structures and domains determined in the CHEETAH Center.

Principal investigator: Wesley Sundquist, Ph.D., University of Utah

This center is using computational and experimental methods to analyze HIV molecular complexes and determine how they interact with and commandeer cellular machinery to traffic throughout cells and tissues. By visually reconstructing virus particle assembly and trafficking, the center aims to develop HIV into a leading model for understanding how human viruses interact with cellular hosts, and to provide a platform for designing new therapeutic strategies.

Visit the CHEETAH Center website.

Animation of ESCRT-III Subunits Unfolding and Being Recycled

This animation is showing how ESCRT-III subunits (green) are unfolded and recycled by the hexameric VPS4 ATPase (purple) and its LIP5 activator (yellow) during the process of HIV budding. The animation is by Janet Iwasa, based upon structures of ESCRT-III and VPS4/LIP5 determined in the CHEETAH Center.

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