Catalyses RNA-template-directed extension of the 3'- end of a DNA strand by one deoxynucleotide at a time. Cannot initiate a chain de novo. Requires an RNA or DNA primer. DNA can also serve as template. See also EC 220.127.116.11 DNA-directed DNA polymerase.
reverse transcriptase is synthesized as part of the Gag-Pol precursor protein, which is cleaved by the virally encoded protease into the structural proteins and the replication enzymes reverse transcriptase, protease, and integrase
reverse transcriptases of retroviruses have two enzymatic activities, a DNA polymerase (that copies both RNA and DNA templates) and the ribonuclease H activity that hydrolyzes the RNA in DNA-RNA hybrids, the ribonuclease H level of HIV-2 RT is lower than that of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, while the DNA polymerase of both reverse transcriptases is similar