What are the three species-defining retroviral genes of HIV?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Shelley A Gilroy, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

HIV contains 3 species-defining retroviral genes: gag, pol, and env. The gag gene encodes group-specific antigen; the inner structural proteins. The pol gene encodes polymerase; it also contains integrase and protease (the viral enzymes) and is produced as a C-terminal extension of the Gag protein). The env gene encodes the viral envelope—the outer structural proteins responsible for cell-type specificity. Glycoprotein 120, the viral-envelope protein, binds to the host CD4+ molecule.


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