Sep 29, 2008
At what point in the HIV life cycle does the mutation occur? Does the mutation occur before the HIV reaches the nucleous or after?
Response from Dr. McGowan
The genetic material of HIV is in the form of RNA. Our genes are made from DNA. In order for the virus to be able to complete it's life cycle, it must convert it's RNA gene into a DNA gene. This is done by a protein that the virus carries with it called Reverse Transcriptase. Mutations occur when Reverse Transcriptase converts the gene from RNA to DNA. This happens in the cytoplasm, before the virus enters the nucleus of the cell.
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.