According to St. Edwards University, Reverse Transcriptase is a multifunctional and complex enzyme that performs a central role in the transmission of genetic elements. Reverse Transcriptase got its name because it reverses the typical flow of biological information.
Reverse Transcriptase is key to the replication of many viruses, including retroviruses. Reverse Transcriptase generally acts as "RNA dependent DNA polymerase," transcribing the single-stranded DNA that comes from the viral RNA. It also demonstrates the activity of Ribonuclease H, a subunit of the Reverse Transcriptase enzyme. Finally, Reverse Transcriptase acts as DNA-dependent polymerase, transcribing the secondary DNA strand, which is complimentary to the first DNA strand.