What enzyme is required to make copies of DNA from RNA?

1 Answer
Feb 27, 2017

Reverse transcriptase


Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme found naturally in retroviruses that acts as the catalyst in the transcription of retroviral RNA into retroviral DNA.

However this is not normal DNA, but is a unique type known as complementary DNA (cDNA). Discovering reverse transcriptase in viruses enabled application to construct cDNA from RNA.

RNA is extracted from the cell desired, and is placed in a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) machine. The enzyme is added along with primers and free nucleotides. Optimal enzyme activity and maximum cDNA occur at 42–48°C.