What Is the Function of Reverse Transcriptase?


Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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