EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A molecular illustration of reverse transcriptase, an enzyme responsible for DNA replication of retroviruses such as HIV. By using an RNA template, reverse transcriptase generates a complementary DNA strand through the process of reverse transcription, allowing the retrovirus to integrate with the host's genome. Many antiretroviral drugs make use of reverse transcriptase inhibitors, however high mutation rates in newly transcribed DNA can lead to drug resistance. A segment of DNA is included within the polymerase active site of the illustration.
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