reverse transcriptase

noun

reverse tran·​scrip·​tase -ˌtran-ˈskrip-(ˌ)tās How to pronounce reverse transcriptase (audio)
-(ˌ)tāz
: a polymerase especially of retroviruses that catalyzes the formation of DNA using RNA as a template

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Retroviruses, on the other hand, start with RNA and make DNA templates, using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase; the resulting DNA then exploits human cellular machinery to create more copies of the virus. Jill Neimark, Discover Magazine, 7 Nov. 2011 The medications target a unique enzyme in HIV called reverse transcriptase, which then prevents the virus from replicating and infecting cells in the body, Alan explains. Korin Miller, Health.com, 9 Dec. 2021 The enzyme, reverse transcriptase, is encoded by LINE-1 elements, sequences that litter 17% of the human genome and represent artifacts of ancient infections by retroviruses. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, 6 May 2021 Similar constructs, dubbed retrons for the reverse transcriptase, were found in many bacteria. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 11 Nov. 2020 At a lab, a technician performs a test often used for flu – a RT-PCR, or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, 24 Mar. 2020 Viral Detection To determine whether a nasopharyngeal sample is positive for the coronavirus, biotechnicians use a technique known as reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR. Jim Daley, Scientific American, 27 Mar. 2020 At a lab, a technician performs a test often used for flu – a RT-PCR, or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, 24 Mar. 2020 At a lab, a technician performs a test often used for flu – a RT-PCR, or reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, 24 Mar. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reverse transcriptase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reverse transcriptase was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near reverse transcriptase

Cite this Entry

“Reverse transcriptase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reverse%20transcriptase. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition

reverse transcriptase

noun
: a polymerase especially of retroviruses that catalyzes the formation of DNA using RNA as a template

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