Early studies of transforming retroviruses led to discovery of oncogenes, while studies of DNA viruses (like AV40) led to discovery of p53 and Rb and tumor suppressor genes. Frank McCormick says in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wag9ISMeLDg&t=347s at 4:33 time: "DNA viruses have very different lifestyle than retroviruses, they need to inactivate Rb to get into S phase to replicate DNA...and then neutralize p53". Why would retroviruses have "very different lifestyle" than DNA viruses? I assume they need to hijack same cell machinery to replicate (since its RNA is reverse transcribed to DNA firstly) as DNA viruses do. Can someone explain, please?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Why do you "assume" retroviruses need to use the machinery for DNA-dependent DNA polymerization that DNA viruses use? They have their own RNA-dependent DNA polymerase (aka as reverse transcriptase) to generate dsDNA copies which are not replicated further but integrated into the host genome. Have you researched the host cell components the two types (very much a simplification as DNA viruses differ) use? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 13, 2023 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @David thanks for your explanation, my bad I haven't realized reverse transcriptase is used for amplification as well, not only to create single DNA copy of virus' RNA to be integrated into host's genome. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 13:01


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