These illustrations attempt to depict HIV based on currently available structural and biochemical information. We are interested in updating the images as new information becomes available. Please feel free to send comments and critiques to .

Mature and ALLINI-Inhibited HIV (David S. Goodsell 2016)

Recent results from HIVE Center researchers have revealed that integrase is important for packaging the HIV genome inside the capsid, and that ALLINIs aggregate integrase and often lead to virions with the genome outside the capsid. These two paintings show cross sections of mature HIV (left) and HIV inhibited with ALLINIs (right).

See Kessl et al. “HIV-1 integrase binds the viral RNA genome and is essential during virion morphogenesis” Cell 166, 1257-1268.

Cross section of immature HIV (2013, David S. Goodsell)

This painting depicts the immature HIV particle, after budding but before maturation. Gag is in light pink, other viral protein is in magenta, RNA is in yellow, cellular protein is in blue and tRNA is in green.

Click here for a description of the scientific references used for the illustration.

Click on the image for a full-size file.

Cross-section of mature HIV (2011, David S. Goodsell)

This painting depicts the mature HIV particle, with structural proteins in blue, viral enzymes in magenta, accessory proteins in green and viral RNA in yellow. Host proteins and tRNA are shown in purple.

Several educational resources are available at the Protein Data Bank, using this image in an interactive Flash activity and a poster.

The science behind the painting is described in: BAMBED 40, 291-296 (2012)

Click on the image for a full-size version.