HIV Captured on Film in Earliest Stages
December 30, 2002
University of Illinois-Chicago researchers have captured for the first time the very earliest stages of HIV infection in living cells. Using protein dyes from jellyfish and time-elapsed microscopy, they saw color images of individual HIV particles traveling to the nucleus of a human cell and beginning the takeover of its genetic machinery. The researchers say the virus can be seen traveling along a part of the host cell's own skeletal framework of microtubules as it makes its way from the outer membrane to the nucleus. The virus hitches a ride aboard the multi-unit protein dynein, commonly referred to as a molecular motor. "They don't make a beeline for the nucleus," said David McDonald, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology. "Their progress is somewhat halting. They appear to jump from one microtubule to another, moving in a jagged path, even sometimes moving backward. But they eventually reach their destination."Adapted from:
United Press International
12.12.02; Ellen Beck
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.