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Polymerases are enzymes found in all living things that catalyze the polymerization of nucleotides , the basic building blocks of nucleic acids . Their function is necessary for the reproduction of genetic information ( DNA ) in the process of replication , a prerequisite for cell division . They are also necessary for the first steps in protein biosynthesis , the production of proteins in the cell.

Polymerases produce the nucleic acids DNA or RNA . To do this, they link nucleotides in a certain order to form a nucleic acid chain. This sequence is usually given by another nucleic acid that is used as a template ( template ). Depending on the type of template and the product (RNA or DNA), a distinction is made between the following polymerases:

Type Abbreviation Template → Product function
DNA-dependent DNA polymerase DDDP DNA → DNA Replication
RNA-dependent DNA polymerase RDDP RNA → DNA Reverse transcription
DNA-dependent RNA polymerase DDRP DNA → RNA transcription
RNA-dependent RNA polymerase RDRP RNA → RNA Replication of some RNA viruses
independent RNA polymerase → RNA
independent DNA polymerase → DNA


An example for RNA polymerases without template ( template works) are poly (A) RNA polymerases (PAP), which the poly-A tail of mRNA to grow molecules. The deoxynucleotidyl (TdT) is a template-independent DNA polymerase.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. S. Ishino, Y. Ishino: DNA polymerases as useful reagents for biotechnology - the history of developmental research in the field. In: Frontiers in microbiology. Volume 5, 2014, p. 465, doi : 10.3389 / fmicb.2014.00465 . PMID 25221550 . PMC 4148896 (free full text).
  2. W. Yang: An overview of Y-Family DNA polymerases and a case study of human DNA polymerase? In: Biochemistry. Volume 53, Number 17, May 2014, pp. 2793-2803, doi : 10.1021 / bi500019s . PMID 24716551 . PMC 4018060 (free full text).