The family of retroviruses (Retroviridae) that can cause tumours. They are enveloped by membrane derived from the plasma membrane of the host cell, from which they are released by budding without lysing the cell. Within each virion is a pair of single stranded RNA molecules. Replication involves a DNA intermediate made on an RNA template by the enzyme reverse transcriptase.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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