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By George A. , Ed. Miller

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The Retroviridae. New York, Plenum Press, pp 51±105. Myers G, Kolber B, Wain-Hobson S, Jeang KT, Henderson LE, Pavlakis GN. 1994. Human Retroviruses and AIDS. A Compilation and Analysis of Nucleic Acid and Amino Acid Sequences. Los Alamos, NM, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Ono M, Wada Y, Wu Y, Nemori R, Jinbo Y, Wang H, Lo KM, Yamaguchi N, Brunkhorst B, Otomo H, Wesolowski J, Way JC, Itoh I, Gillies S, Chen LB. 1997. FP-21399 blocks HIV envelope protein-mediated membrane fusion and concentrates in lymph nodes.

Directly in samples from the susceptible host). Importantly, knowledge of the molecular mechanisms in each step of the virus life cycle has provided an essential basis for discovering new antiviral compounds. Otherwise, a ®rm understanding of the relevant features of both the HIV turnover in vivo and the intrahost HIV evolution is crucial for developing e¨ective anti-HIV strategies. Indeed, the HIV biology poses several challenges to the development of these strategies. In particular, sequence variation resulting from errors of the viral RT and recombination renders HIV an elusive target for both antiviral compounds and vaccines.

As in other retroviral infections, the replication cycle of HIV can be described as proceeding in two phases. The ®rst phase includes entry of the virion into the cell cytoplasm, synthesis of double-stranded DNA (provirus) using the single-stranded genome RNA as a template, transfer of the proviral DNA to the nucleus, and intergration of the DNA into the host genome. The second phase includes synthesis of new copies of the viral genome, expression of viral genes, virion assembly by encapsidation of the genome by precursors of the HIV structural proteins, budding, and ®nal processing of the viral proteins.

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