Scientists at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital have determined the atomic structure of a key part of HIV-1 envelope proteins, the knob-like projections that attach the viruses to the cells they infect. The study fills in one of the last missing pieces of envelope protein structure: the segment that anchors the protein to the viral membrane. In doing so, the research confirms that this particular segment—called the membrane-proximal external region, or MPER—offers a viable target for researchers developing vaccines against HIV-1, the most common form of HIV worldwide.
Stephen C. Harrison, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School / Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Phone: +1 617 432-5609
Press release dated: 09/24/2018