mutator protein

mutator protein

An antiviral factor found in human cells that converts one codon in DNA so that it codes for the amino acid uracil instead of cytosine. Uracil replaces cytosine in RNA. When HIV infects cells it makes a DNA copy of its own RNA to insert into the host DNA. The mutator protein offers the possibility of developing drugs that could interfere with the replication of infecting viruses.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005