The Molecules of HIV

Note: this site last updated in 2006


An article from "The Molecules of HIV" (c) Dan Stowell

Ribonuclease H, or RNAse H, is essential for HIV's function. Once HIV RNA has entered a cell and been copied into DNA by reverse%20transcriptase">reverse transcriptase, it is no longer needed, since the DNA copy is what will be incorporated into the cell's genome. In fact HIV needs to get rid of the RNA so that the freshly-made DNA can get on and do its job. RNAse H helps by degrading the DNA-bound RNA.

Despite RNAse H being essential to HIV, no RNase H inhibitors are currently in pre-clinical development. However, some initial research has found that some mappicine analogues show promising antiviral activity.

Written by
Dan Stowell

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