Comparison of three different crystal forms shows HIV-1 reverse transcriptase displays an internal swivel motion.

Abstract:

Reverse transcriptase (RT) from HIV-1 is responsible for replicating the single-stranded RNA genome to double-stranded DNA. The three-dimensional structure of RT shows that it is a strikingly asymmetric heterodimer consisting of two differently folded subunits (molecular weights 66 kDa and 51 kDa) with identical amino-terminal amino acid sequences (residues 1-428). The large active site cleft is composed of subdomains named 'finger', 'palm' and 'thumb'. There is also an RNAse H domain.

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