The Molecules of HIV

Note: this site last updated in 2006

pol

An article from "The Molecules of HIV" (c) Dan Stowell
www.mcld.co.uk/hiv
pol is one of the main retroviral genes. It encodes four proteins, of which the most important is Reverse Transcriptase. Reverse Transcriptase performs a job which is unique to retroviruses, in that it copies the virus' RNA genome into DNA. (Since most organisms and viruses keep their genes in DNA form in the first place, they have no need to perform this task.) The copying of the HIV genome into DNA form is one of the key stages of the HIV life-cycle. The other three products of pol are these:
  • Protease - which processes proteins made from HIV's genome so that they can become part of new fully-functioning HIV particles
  • RNAse H - which breaks down the retroviral genome following infection of a cell
  • Integrase - which integrates the DNA copy of HIV's genome into the host DNA

Written by
Dan Stowell
(©2002-2006)

Creative Commons License