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  • Envelope JAMA
    In virology, a protein covering that packages the virus's genetic information. The outer coat, or envelope, of HIV is composed of two layers of fatlike molecules, called lipids, taken from the membranes of human cells. Embedded in the envelope are numerous cellular proteins, as well as mushroom-shaped HIV proteins that protrude from the surface. Each mushroom is thought to consist of a cap made of four glycoprotein molecules called gp120 and a stem consisting of four gp41 molecules embedded in the envelope. The virus uses these proteins to attach to and infect cells. See also Glycoprotein; GP41; GP120; Lipid.
  • Envelope: SFAF
    the outer covering of a virus. The HIV envelope contains spikes and is composed of 2 protein subunits -- gp120 and gp41 -- encoded by the env gene. The glycoprotein gp120 attaches itself to the CD4 surface protein, allowing HIV to infect certain cells.

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