This chapter describes the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) structure as it relates to the development of antiviral strategies. There is already a small but valuable database of protein structures directly relevant to the understanding of the structures and functions of HIV. In particular, high-resolution structures are determined for such other human viruses as human rhinovirus 14. Given the extensive efforts currently devoted to structure determination of HIV components in numerous laboratories throughout the world, it is likely that structures of the major components, in addition to the already determined structure of the HIV aspartyl protease, would be available within several years. A great deal has been learned in an impressively short amount of time about the structure of the human immunodeficiency virus, but many significant gaps exist. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of the components of HIV are important for the rational design of improved molecular therapeutics to treat AIDS and other retroviral diseases. Many creative strategies for antiviral intervention have been devised as a result of the medical importance of the disease. These discoveries will undoubtedly benefit the development of effective antiviral treatments for other virally caused diseases in addition to AIDS. © 1991 Academic Press Inc.
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