reverse transcriptase

[tran-skrip-teys, -teyz]

noun Biochemistry.

a retrovirus enzyme that synthesizes DNA from viral RNA, the reverse of the usual DNA-to-RNA replication: used in genetic engineering to clone genes from RNA strands.

Nearby words

  1. reverse racism,
  2. reverse shot,
  3. reverse snob,
  4. reverse swing,
  5. reverse takeover,
  6. reverse transcription,
  7. reverse video,
  8. reverse-charge,
  9. reverse-engineer,
  10. reversed coarctation

Origin of reverse transcriptase

First recorded in 1970–75; transcript + -ase

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for reverse transcriptase

reverse transcriptase

noun

an enzyme present in retroviruses that copies RNA into DNA, thus reversing the usual flow of genetic information in which DNA is copied into RNA
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for reverse transcriptase

reverse transcriptase

n.

A polymerase that catalyzes the formation of DNA on an RNA template, found in oncogenic viruses containing RNA, especially the retroviruses.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for reverse transcriptase

reverse transcriptase

Any of a class of enzymes that catalyze the formation of DNA from an RNA template and are found in retroviruses, and also in certain body cells (such as stem cells) as the enzyme telomerase. The action of reverse transcriptase runs in the opposite direction from normal genetic transcription in the cell, in which RNA is copied from DNA. Drugs that inhibit the action of viral reverse transcriptase have been used to treat retroviral infections such as AIDS, and those that inhibit telomerase are potential anticancer agents.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.