RNA dependent synthesis of DNA is known as reverse transcription.
- Reverse transcription is an important step in the life cycle of RNA viruses including retroviruses.
- The RNA viruses contain an enzyme reverse transcriptase that convert their RNA genome into duplex DNA.
- The resulting duplex DNA often becomes incorporated into the genome of the eukaryotic host cell.
- These integrated (and dormant) viral genes can be activated and transcribed, and the gene products—viral proteins and the viral RNA genome itself—packaged as new viruses.
- Reverse transcriptase was discovered in 1970 by David Baltimore, Howard Temin, and Satoshi Mizutani