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.
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 18 Sep 2003|
- Protein structure and function
- Viral membrane protein