Dictionary > Retrovirus

Retrovirus

Definition
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.
Supplement
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)
See also:

Related term(s):

  • Retroviruses type d simian
  • Mentioned in:

    • Human immunodeficiency virus
    • Reverse transcriptase


    You will also like...

    Nephrolepis exaltata
    Vascular Plants: Ferns and Relatives

    Ferns and their relatives are vascular plants, meaning they have xylem and phloem tissues. Because of the presence of va..

    Geological Periods
    Geological Periods

    Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

    Wart-like leaf galls on grape leaves
    Plant Cell Defense

    Plants protect themselves by releasing hydrogen peroxide to fight against fungal invasion. Another way is by secreting c..

    Water Cycle
    The Water Cycle

    The water cycle (also referred to as the hydrological cycle) is a system of continuous transfer of water from the air, s..

    Bryophytes
    Bryophytes

    Bryophytes (nonvascular plants) are a plant group characterized by lacking vascular tissues. They include the mosses, th..

    DNA carries genes coding for proteins
    Genetic Information and Protein Synthesis

    Genes are expressed through the process of protein synthesis. This elaborate tutorial provides an in-depth review of the..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics