Fluorescence Microscopy of the HIV-1 Envelope.
Carravilla P., Nieva JL., Eggeling C.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection constitutes a major health and social issue worldwide. HIV infects cells by fusing its envelope with the target cell plasma membrane. This process is mediated by the viral Env glycoprotein and depends on the envelope lipid composition. Fluorescent microscopy has been employed to investigate the envelope properties, and the processes of viral assembly and fusion, but the application of this technique to the study of HIV is still limited by a number of factors, such as the small size of HIV virions or the difficulty to label the envelope components. Here, we review fluorescence imaging studies of the envelope lipids and proteins, focusing on labelling strategies and model systems.