Team develops automated platform for plasmid production

Plasmids have extensive use in basic and applied biology. These small, circular DNA molecules are used by scientists to introduce new genes into a target organism. Well known for their applications in the production of therapeutic ...

How a narrow-spectrum antibiotic takes aim at C. difficile

Most antibiotics are double-edged swords. Besides killing the pathogen they are prescribed for, they also decimate beneficial bacteria and change the composition of the gut microbiome. As a result, patients become more prone ...

Scientists make leap forward for genetic sequencing

In a paper published today in Sciences Advances, researchers in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine revealed new details about a key enzyme that makes ...

Recently discovered protein turbocharges gene expression

For many years, scientists have sought to understand what happens when our genes are flipped to the "on" position. Now, scientists at the University of California San Diego and Rutgers University have identified a new protein ...

Spatial organization of transcribed eukaryotic genes

The basic process of life, known as transcription, is the process by which the genetic information stored in DNA is copied by specific enzymes called RNA polymerases into RNA molecules. Despite a huge progress in our understanding ...

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A polymerase (EC 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 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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