A protein with a dual role: Both repair and mutation

Using a specialized protein, all bacteria are capable of rapidly and effectively repairing damage to their DNA from UV. However, this mutation frequency decline (Mfd) protein plays another role and causes mutations. A team1 ...

An international study reveals how the 'guardian' of the genome works

Scientists from the Genomic Integrity and Structural Biology Group led by Rafael Fernández-Leiro at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered how certain proteins ensure the repair of errors introduced ...

Lab one step closer to understanding how life started on Earth

How did life begin on Earth and could it exist elsewhere? Researchers at Simon Fraser University have isolated a genetic clue—an enzyme known as an RNA polymerase—that provides new insights about the origins of life. ...

One enzyme dictates cells' response to a probable carcinogen: study

In the past few years, several medications have been found to be contaminated with NDMA, a probable carcinogen. This chemical, which has also been found at Superfund sites and in some cases has spread to drinking water supplies, ...

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Polymerase

A polymerase (EC 2.7.7.6/7/19/48/49) is an enzyme whose central function is associated with polymers of nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA. The primary function of a polymerase is the polymerization of new DNA or RNA against an existing DNA or RNA template in the processes of replication and transcription. In association with a cluster of other enzymes and proteins, they take nucleotides from solvent, and catalyse the synthesis of a polynucleotide sequence against a nucleotide template strand using base-pairing interactions.

It is an accident of history that the enzymes responsible for the catalytic production of other biopolymers are not also referred to as polymerases.

One particular polymerase, from the thermophilic bacterium, Thermus aquaticus (Taq) (PDB 1BGX, EC 2.7.7.7) is of vital commercial importance due to its use in the polymerase chain reaction, a widely used technique of molecular biology.

Other well-known polymerases include:

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