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Reverse transcription is the process of making a double stranded DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule from a single stranded RNA (ribonucleic acid) template. It is called reverse transcription as it acts in the opposite or reverse direction to transcription. This idea was very unpopular at first as it contradicted the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology which states DNA is transcribed into RNA which is translated into proteins. However, in 1970 when the scientists Howard Temin and David Baltimore both independently discovered the enzyme responsible for reverse transcription, named reverse transcriptase, the possibility that genetic information could be passed on in this manner was finally accepted.
Reverse transcription in Class VI viruses
Class VI viruses ssRNA-RT, also called the retroviruses are RNA reverse transcribing viruses with a DNA intermediate. Their genomes consist of two molecules of positive sense single stranded RNA with a 5' cap and 3' polyadenylated tail. Examples of retroviruses include Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Human T-Lymphotropic virus (HTLV). Once the viruses have entered the cell and been uncoated the genome is reverse transcribed into double stranded DNA which can be incorporated into the host cell and subsequently expressed. Reverse transcription by the enzyme reverse transcriptase occurs in a series of steps:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Reverse_transcription". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|