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Integrase and entry inhibitors
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Entry inhibitors and integrase inhibitors are groups of medications that are used in HAART, or highly active antiretroviral therapy, which is the combination of medications used in the treatment of AIDS.
Entry inhibitors act by preventing the binding of HIV to the CD4+ cell receptors, thereby preventing its entry into the cell.
Normally, the CD4 molecule helps these cells attach to and activate other immune cells when there’s an infection.
HIV has 2 proteins, gp120 and gp41 that form a complex on its envelope, which it uses to attach to the CD4 molecules.
Next, it uses this complex to attach to a co-receptor on the immune cell before it can gain entry.
When HIV binds to the CD4 and the co-receptors, the viral envelope fuses with the cell membrane of the immune cell, releasing its single-stranded RNA and some viral enzymes, like reverse transcriptase and integrase into the helpless host cell’s cytoplasm.
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