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Membrane trafficking

How membrane physics rules the HIV envelope

HIV particles incorporate host membrane proteins into their envelope to evade the immune system and infect other cells. A study now shows that Gag assembly on the host cell membrane produces a raft-like nanodomain favourable for protein partitioning due to a transbilayer coupling mechanism assisted by long saturated chain lipids and cholesterol.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Correspondence to Patricia Bassereau.

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Fig. 1: Schematic representation of transbilayer coupling during HIV budding.
Fig. 2: Scheme of cellular processes that might require transbilayer coupling (marked in brown).