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Learn about cDNA


cDNA stands for complemantary DNA or copy DNA. cDNA is in fact a DNA copy of RNA, usually mRNAs.


cDNA Synthesis

cDNA is synthesized using mature mRNA template in a catalytic reaction using the enzyme reverse transcriptase (RTase).


cDNA Applications

cDNA is used in laboratories and molecular cloning because it offers a more stable, longer storage alternative than RNA. cDNA is also used to clone eukaryotic genes into other organisms such as prokaryotes using plasmids.

cDNA in Nature

cDNA is produced naturally in nature by retroviruses. Examples of retroviruses that produce cDNAs include HIV (HIV-1 and HIV-2) Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, and several others. These viruses use cDNA in order to integrate into their host's genome in order to create a provirus.


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