Reverse transcription of a retroviral genome takes place in the cytoplasm of an infected cell by a process primed by a producer-cell-derived tRNA annealed to an 18-nucleotide primer-binding site (PBS). By an assay involving primer complementation of PBS-mutated vectors we analyzed whether tRNA primers derived from the target cell can sustain reverse transcription during murine leukemia virus (MLV) infection. Transduction efficiencies were 4-5 orders of magnitude below those of comparable producer-cell complementations. However, successful usage of a target-cell-derived tRNA primer was proven by cases of correction of single mismatches between Akv-MLV vectors and complementary tRNA primers toward the primer sequence in the integrated vector. Thus, target-cell-derived tRNA-like primers are able to initiate first-strand cDNA synthesis and plus-strand transfer leading to a complete provirus, suggesting that endogenous tRNAs from the infected cell may also have access to the intracellular viral complex at that step of the replication cycle.