HIV: new imaging reveals targets on the viral envelope

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New imaging techniques have revealed vulnerabilities of the HIV virus that could be targeted by antibodies, or used to develop a preventative vaccine, according to new research.

When HIV attaches to CD4 and CCR5 using its spike protein, this triggers a change in the shape of the virus. The new research describes the use of small-molecule CD4 mimetic compounds that force the virus to undergo this change in conformation, exposing normally hidden parts of the envelope and allowing the immune system to target the virus by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC).

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