Mobil Genetic Elements -- Viruses and Plasmids

ID #1522

Are both copies of the ss RNA in the HIV genome changed into ds DNA and inserted into the genome of the host cell? If yes, does this mean that the virus must have two copies of integrase in its capsid, or does integrase also have an NES?


It's still not absolutely clear what the reason is for the duplicate copies of retroviral genomes, but it probably has more to do with the "end" than the "beginning" of a cycle of infection. Those strands of identical (or nearly so) RNA are found as a non-covalently bound dimeric pair and will ultimately lead to the production of a single molecule of ds-DNA.

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