Vpu from HIV-1 on an atomic scale: Experiments and computer simulations

W. B. Fischer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Vpu is an 81 amino acid protein encoded by HIV-1. Its role is to amplify viral release by two mechanisms: (i) docking to CD4 with the consequence of targeting CD4 for ubiquitine-mediated degradation, and (ii) formation of ion channels to enhance particle release. The intensive research on its in vivo function, combined with structural investigations, makes this viral membrane protein one of the better characterised membrane proteins. The wealth of structural information enables the use of computational methods to elucidate the mechanisms of function on an atomic scale. The discovery of Vpu and the development of structural models in a chronological order is summarised and first efforts on investigating the mechanics are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2003


  • HIV-1
  • Protein structure and function
  • Viral membrane protein
  • Vpu


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