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Journal Article

Retrovirus maturation - an extraordinary structural transformation

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Mattei, S., Schur, F. K. M., & Briggs, J. A. G. (2016). Retrovirus maturation - an extraordinary structural transformation. Current Opinion in Virology, 18, 27-35. doi:10.1016/j.coviro.2016.02.008.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-7190-4
Retroviruses such as HIV-1 assemble and bud from infected cells in an immature, non-infectious form. Subsequently, a series of proteolytic cleavages catalysed by the viral protease leads to a spectacular structural rearrangement of the viral particle into a mature form that is competent to fuse with and infect a new cell. Maturation involves changes in the structures of protein domains, in the interactions between protein domains, and in the architecture of the viral components that are assembled by the proteins. Tight control of proteolytic cleavages at different sites is required for successful maturation, and the process is a major target of antiretroviral drugs. Here we will describe what is known about the structures of immature and mature retrovirus particles, and about the maturation process by which one transitions into the other. Despite a wealth of available data, fundamental questions about retroviral maturation remain unanswered.