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AIDS-HIV Related Terms

- Z -

  • Zinc Finger Inhibitors

  • A class of experimental anti-HIV drugs which prevents the nucleocapsid part of the gag protein of HIV-which contains the zinc finger amino acid structures-from capturing and packaging new HIV genetic material into newly budding virions.

  • Zinc Fingers

  • Chains of amino acids found in cellular protein which bind to DNA or messenger RNA, and play important roles in a cell's life cycle. They are called zinc fingers because they capture a zinc ion, which contributes to the array's binding to RNA or DNA. There are two zinc fingers in HIV's nucleocapsid. Zinc fingers are involved in binding and packaging viral RNA into new virions budding from an infected host cell. The nucleocapsid protein and the zinc fingers also play a role during the process of reverse transcription. See Reverse Transcriptase.

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