Conformational changes in gp120 exposes gp41

Stable Identifier
Reaction [transition]
Homo sapiens
Related Species
Human immunodeficiency virus 1
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The HIV protein known as gp41 is a transmembrane protein which is considered the major mediator of fusion of extracellular virions to the target cells in the host. HIV gp120 and gp41 proteins form non-covalently linked oligomers on the surface of virions. The gp41 subunit of the oligomer is anchored in the viral membrane and contains a non-polar fusion peptide at its N-terminus. Upon CD4 and receptor binding, gp120 undergoes a second conformation change. The conformation change exposes gp41 which continues to mediate fusion of the viral envelope with the host plasma membrane. Electron microscopy and circular dichroism measurements of the gp41 protein suggest a rod-like conformation with a high alpha-helical content. Although some studies suggest that gp41must dissociate from gp120 in order to cause fusion between HIV envelope and the target cell plasma membrane, evidence on this point is not conclusive.

Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
3629244 Functional regions of the envelope glycoprotein of human immunodeficiency virus type 1

Sodroski, J, Potz, J, Dayton, A, Goh, WC, Basiripour, L, Kowalski, M, Rosen, C, Dorfman, T, Terwilliger, E

Science 1987
2541505 Identification of the fusion peptide of primate immunodeficiency viruses

Wong-Staal, F, Bosch, ML, Earl, PL, Picciafuoco, S, Franchini, G, Fargnoli, K, Giombini, F

Science 1989
8612573 The ectodomain of HIV-1 env subunit gp41 forms a soluble, alpha-helical, rod-like oligomer in the absence of gp120 and the N-terminal fusion peptide

Calder, LJ, Moss, B, Earl, PL, Weissenhorn, W, Skehel, JJ, Aliprandis, E, Wharton, SA, Wiley, DC

EMBO J 1996
8500173 A spring-loaded mechanism for the conformational change of influenza hemagglutinin

Kim, PS, Carr, CM

Cell 1993
Name Identifier Synonyms
Human immunodeficiency virus infectious disease DOID:526 HIV infection
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