Note: this site last updated in 2006
An article from "The Molecules of HIV" (c) Dan Stowell
What it actually does is to cut certain proteins at certain points: the gag and gag-pol proteins produced from the HIV genome are long things which are like HIV's proteins allconnectedoneaftertheother, and protease is needed to make the vital snips to cut these large precursors into the right pieces.
A number of studies have found that protease inhibitors can slightly increase a person's chances of heart disease. The reason for this seems to be that protease inhibitors increase the amount of CD36 cell surface protein on macrophages, and this means they can have an increased uptake of cholesterol. More information: www.aidsmap.com/news/newsdisplay2.asp?newsId=2327