Retrovirus contain RNS strings carrying their genetic code and reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that allows the code of the RNA to be translated to DNA in the cell cytoplasm. The DNA strings are transported into the cell nucleus and inserted in the cellular DNA to form part of the cellular gene set-up. The normal cellular mechanisms and components are used to replicate the viral genes, convert them to RNA strings, synthetize the other components required by the intact virus and to set the virus free. The reverse transcription of the RNA string by reverse transcriptase is thus the first step in retroviral gene expression.
Wikipedia article that describes the life cycle, components and replication mechanisms of retrovirus.
Popular description of the life cycle of retroviruses.
Discussion of the enzyme structure and briefly on the enzymatic mechanism.
Wikipedia article briefly describing the enzyme and its different activities and functions.
Reverse Transcriptase Activity Assays
Academic dissertation by Malmsten, Anders including an extensive survey of retrovirus replication nd a discussion of highly sensitive methods for determination of retroviral reverse transcriptase, for viral research and for diagnosis and viral load determination in HIV patients.
Last update:January 2, 2007 at 17:59:43 UTC