Dictionary » R » Retrovirus



noun, plural: retroviruses

Any of the group of viruses in the family Retroviridae. The virus is characterized by having a single-stranded RNA as its genetic material, which it uses to incorporate into the genome of the host cell as a means to propagate.


The name is derived from the ability of the viruses to reverse the archetypal flow of transcription. This makes them different from other RNA viruses. RNA is initially being transcribed into DNA. This is in contrast to the usual DNA being transcribed into RNA. This is made possible by the enzyme reverse transcriptase that facilitates this form of transcription. The resulting DNA is then incorporated into the genome of the host cell.

Many retroviruses are pathogenic to animals because they can trigger normal cells to become cancer cells. HIV is an example of a retrovirus.

Word origin: retro- (“reverse”, from its reverse direction of replication) + virus.

Related form(s): retroviral (adjective)

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Inserting cDNA into a retroviral vector?..

Thank you, but maybe there's another option: could I make the cDNA of the retrovirus using RT-PCR, then insert the cDNA of the gene into the vector, and later insert that vector into dividing cells of another organism? Theoretically, it's the retroviral cDNA ...

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by x555
Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:59 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: Inserting cDNA into a retroviral vector?..
Replies: 3
Views: 3455

Inserting cDNA into a retroviral vector?..

you will hardly insert dsDNA into ssRNA. You have to make RNA from it and that use for the insertion. But you have to be aware whether your retrovirus contains + or - RNA strand.

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by JackBean
Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:20 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: Inserting cDNA into a retroviral vector?..
Replies: 3
Views: 3455

Vaccine for HIV

... AIDS. Most effective vaccines are whole-killed or live-attenuated organisms; killed HIV-1 does not retain antigenicity and the use of a live retrovirus vaccine raises safety issues. Most vaccines protect against infections that are infrequently encountered; HIV may be encountered daily by ...

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by suzidoc8
Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:47 pm
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: Vaccine for HIV
Replies: 1
Views: 10221

Re: no repeat sequences in exons of genes?

... frame x1/2 chance that it was in the right direction multiplied by the number of encoded proteins in the transposon - If you consider that a retrovirus from which they evolved has many protein-coding sequences (like HIV... env gag nef pol rev tat vif vpr vpu 9 protein coding genes producing ...

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by merv
Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:37 am
Forum: Genetics
Topic: no repeat sequences in exons of genes?
Replies: 5
Views: 11654

Re: Debating Evolution

... common in prokaryotes - meaning bacteria. In higher organisms horizontal gene transfer is very rare, and can only happen via the action of a retrovirus affecting gametes. It is sufficiently rare that it has not significant effect on evolution, which happens pretty much as Darwind described. ...

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by skeptic
Sun May 29, 2011 4:23 am
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Debating Evolution
Replies: 7
Views: 5898
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