Caister Academic Press

Reverse Transcription and Integration

Alan Engelman
from: Retroviruses: Molecular Biology, Genomics and Pathogenesis (Edited by: Reinhard Kurth and Norbert Bannert). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


Retroviruses are unique among animal viruses in that their replication requires the recombination of their own genetic material with that of the infected host cell. Two virus-encapsulated enzymes, reverse transcriptase and integrase, are dedicated to provirus formation. Reverse transcriptase, using a packaged cellular tRNA primer to initiate DNA synthesis from the viral RNA template, generates linear double-stranded DNA within the context of the reverse transcription nucleoprotein complex. The integrase enzyme processes the neo-synthesised DNA ends as the preintegration complex moves toward the cell nucleus. After finding a suitable chromatin acceptor site, the integrase recombines the processed DNA ends with a cell chromosome. This chapter focuses on the mechanisms of viral DNA synthesis, its transport to the nucleus, and the resulting chromosomal DNA integration read more ...
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