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.
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