Now, here's a picture, a beautiful illustration of what the HIV particles look like.
Those little green dots are all HIV particles, the red structure is a human white blood cell
and it’s sitting on top of another cell and doing its job. Clearly this person has high viral loads of HIV.
Now, let’s take a look at an HIV particle so that you can understand where each of these drugs were doing their job.
The HIV particle is an incredibly complex structure
and I'm just gonna go over it in a very quick detail.
For more detail about the HIV particle,
I want you to take a look at the microbiology and infectious disease lectures here at Lecturio.com.
The first thing that I wanna point out is something called the lipid membrane.
This is similar to other lipid membranes of other viruses.
We have a matrix protein kind of attached to the lipid membrane.
We have a capsid that surrounds nucleocapsids.
Now this, that little pink string that you see in this illustration
is kind of where all of the genetic material is stored of the virus.
Tat, what is Tat? Tat refers to a trans-activator of transcription, T-A-T.
I'm gonna mention this several times in the lecture so keep this in your memory.
We have the viral RNA genome, remember viruses have RNA,
this is where we get our genetic information from, from the virus.
We have another enzyme here called reverse transcriptase.
This is quite interesting in HIV,
because the very first drugs used to battle HIV were actually reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Now remember that reverse transcriptase from your biology lectures in pre-med
is an enzyme that’s used to generate DNA
actually complementary DNA from your RNA template in the virus.
The other thing that I wanna mention is something called integrase.
Integrase is an enzyme that’s produced by a retrovirus like HIV
that enables its genetic material to be integrated into the DNA of the host cell,
so for example the integrase helps take HIV DNA to integrate it into the patient’s DNA in their cells.
A protease is an enzyme that helps breakdown proteins.
In this particular case specific to pharmacology,
we're gonna be talking about the ones that are used to package up the proteins for release, okay?
So, when we talk about protease as in general, you’ll find that we have a very different kind of approach
to proteases in pharmacology than we do to say infectious diseases or microbiology.
I'm only talking about one kind of protease that’s relevant in pharmacology.
We also have a lot of proteins on the cell of both the host cell and proteins of the virus itself.
In terms of the virus, we have what we call the end glycoprotein complex.
So, there are several molecules involved in this.
There's the gp120 and the gp41.
There's other ones as well but I'm not gonna go into too much detail right now.
The other thing I wanna mention is that these proteins
can become glycosylated so the viral surface proteins act to bridge between the virus
and the cell during attachment to the host cell.
There you have it. Those are all the different parts of the virus and of course,
in pharmacology, we only named parts that are relevant to us.