Replication Also known as Viral Replication (Lifecycle)

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The process by which copies of a virus are made. Replication of HIV is regulated by three enzymes. The enzyme reverse transcriptase converts viral RNA into a DNA copy of the virus. The viral DNA is integrated into the cell’s DNA by a second enzyme, integrase. The cell is now coded to make copies of viral RNA and long chains of viral proteins. A third enzyme, protease, cuts the protein chains into smaller, usable portions necessary for production of fully formed, infections virus. The proteins and RNA are assembled into new copies of the virus, which then exit the human host cell.