Form and function of retroviral proviruses

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Science  21 May 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4548, pp. 812-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.6177038


Retroviruses have proved to be useful reagents for studying genetic and epigenetic (such as regulatory) changes in eukaryotic cells, for assessing functional and structural relationships between transposable genetic elements, for inducing insertional mutations, including some important in oncogenesis, and for transporting genes into eukaryotic cells, either after natural transduction of putative cellular oncogenes or after experimental construction of recombinant viruses. Many of these properties of retroviruses depend on their capacity to establish a DNA (proviral) form of their RNA genomes as a stable component of host chromosomes, in either somatic or germinal cells.

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