reverse transcriptasemedical dictionary


<cell biology> RNA directed DNA polymerase.

Enzyme first discovered in retroviruses, that can construct double stranded DNA molecules from the single stranded RNA templates of their genomes. Reverse transcription now appears also to be involved in movement of certain mobile genetic elements, such as the Ty plasmid in yeast, in the replication of other viruses such as Hepatitis B and possibly in the generation of mammalian pseudogenes.

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

(11 Mar 2008)