Understanding of the structures and functions of the retroviral integrase (IN), a key enzyme in the viral replication cycle, is essential for developing antiretroviral treatments and facilitating the development of safer gene therapy vehicles. Thus, four MLV IN-mutants were constructed in the context of a retroviral vector system, harbouring either a substitution in the catalytic centre, deletions in the C-terminus, or combinations of both modifications. IN-mutants were tested for their performance in different stages of the viral replication cycle: RNA-packaging; RT-activity; transient and stable infection efficiency; dynamics of reverse transcription and nuclear entry. All mutant vectors packaged viral RNA with wild-type efficiencies and displayed only slight reductions in RT-activity. Deletion of either the IN C-terminus alone, or in addition to part of the catalytic domain exerted contrasting effects on intracellular viral DNA levels, implying that IN influences reverse transcription in more than one direction.