Breakthrough Article in Nucleic Acids Research Shows That Reverse Transcriptases (RTs) Prime DNA Synthesis

Reverse transcriptase by Laguna Design

In a “Breakthrough Article” in Nucleic Acids Research (NAR), a team of investigators led by Prof. Aidan Doherty at the University of Sussex (UK) presented a study establishing that CRISPR-associated reverse transcriptase (RT) directly primes DNA synthesis on both RNA and DNA and that RT-dependent priming is utilized by some CRISPR-Cas complexes to synthesize new spacers and integrate these into CRISPR arrays. The study goes on to establish that primer synthesis activity is conserved in representatives of other major RT classes, including group II intron RT, telomerase, and HIV retroviral RT. The open-access article is titled “Reverse Transcriptases Prime DNA” and was published on June 6, 2023.

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