Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of Retroviruses [chapter]

Shailendra K. Saxena, Sai V. Chitti
2016 Advances in Molecular Retrovirology  
Retroviruses consist of a varied family of enveloped RNA viruses with positive-sense RNAs that replicate in a host cell through the process of reverse transcription. Retroviruses belong to the Retroviridae family that typically carries their genetic material in the form of ribonucleic acid, while the genetic material of their hosts is in the form of deoxyribonucleic acid. Infections with a number of retroviruses can lead to serious conditions, such as AIDS, a range of malignancies, neurological
more » ... diseases, and added clinical conditions. In addition, some can even become integrated as DNA in the germ line and passed as endogenous viruses from generation to generation. Surprisingly, retroviruses do not appear to straightforwardly activate host innate defenses. On the other hand, attention in these viruses extends beyond their disease causing capabilities. For example, studies on the retroviruses led to the discovery of oncogenes, understanding of mechanisms that regulate eukaryotic gene expression, and these are proving to be valuable research tools in molecular biology and have been used successfully in gene therapy. The central goals of retrovirology today are the treatment and the prevention of human and non-human diseases and to use this virus in research.
doi:10.5772/62885 fatcat:vzap7udnnbcsldn3fo3yttkddm