Chapter

GETTING LUCKY WITH A FAULTY GENE

Jaap Goudsmit

in Viral Fitness

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195130348
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790166 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130348.003.0007
 GETTING LUCKY WITH A FAULTY GENE

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This chapter discusses simple retroviruses. Simple retroviruses belong to the same RNA virus family as the AIDS virus, but unlike HIV, they do not attack humans. Simple retroviruses have only three genes while their complex relatives have more (for example HIV has nine genes), but both are called “retro” because of a remarkable trick they perform. All have three genes in common: gag, env, and pol. The first two are structural genes, with gag coding for the inner wall of the virus coat and env coding for its envelope, or outer wall. Pol codes are for the machinery that transcribes the viral RNA to DNA and splices it into the host cell's DNA.

Keywords: simple retroviruses; RNA virus; genes; gag; env; pol

Chapter.  6180 words. 

Subjects: Microbiology

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