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December 21, 2011 / May K.

GP120 from HIV

rotein Data Bank ID: 1GC1
Protein Name: Core Domain of GP120
Organism: Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Title of Drawing: “The Emperor”

Core domain of the GP120 envelope glycoprotein of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Such a glycoprotein is a kind of “forged entrance ticket” for the virus. With this ticket it can outwit the bouncers of immune cells (receptors) and enter them.
The evil looking emperor with an eagle appearance should remind us of preventing ourselves from HIV. Otherwise AIDS, like a crude monarch, will come to power over our world and will torture the folks.


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  1. dorica / Dec 23 2011 8:22 pm

    your drawings are so wonderful! and they are such an original way to introduce us to the magic world of the proteins. I hope that students, too, will love them.
    This one really looks like “our” Horus-ra alien.

    Do you have any drawings inspired by the “self-receptors” proteins found on the outer surface of the cell’s membrane, the ones that medical science has recognized as conferring self-identity ( of the cell/organ) in regards to tissue transplants? Thank you.

    • May K. / Jan 3 2012 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much for your interest!:) Yep, the eagle really looks like Horus-ra!

      I’m not very familiar with the transplantation/immunity topic… I have some receptors in my “collection” but to my knowledge they are not self-receptors. Do you have some examples for these self-identity conferring receptors. I would try to draw them!:)

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