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Nucleoside analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NARTIs or NRTIs) compose the first class of antiretroviral drugs developed. In order to be incorporated into the viral DNA, NRTIs must be activated in the cell by the addition of three phosphate groups to their deoxyribose moiety, to form NRTI triphosphates. This phosphorylation step is carried out by cellular kinase enzymes.
Figure 1 A: Mechanism of action of nucleoside analogues reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
Stavudine (d4T) is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor.