Nov 11, 1998
What is reverse transcriptase and how does it work?
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme (or protein) that the HIV virus carries to make a DNA copy of itself once it gets inside a cell. This DNA copy can then get inside the cell nucleus and become incorporated into the human cell DNA. The enzyme takes building blocks (nucleosides) from the existing cell to make a chain of nucleosides which then become DNA. Drugs like AZT or 3TC are nucleoside analogues or decoys which get put into the lengthening DNA chain. Once they are placed in the DNA, the process is aborted, and the virus can not copy itself. These drugs are called chain terminators. Drugs like nevirapine (Virammune) or efavirenz (sustiva) are true reverse transcriptase inhibitors in that they block the function of the enzyme, so the DNA chain also cannot be produced. MH
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- What Does Reverse Transcriptase Do During An HIV Infection?
- Nucleoside Analog Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor
- Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
- Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors Stop Hiv Production By Binding To
- Reverse Transcriptase For Hiv
- How Likely Is It To Get AIDS From Cut On Hand?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.