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Open Badges Protein family review

Replicative DNA polymerases

M Mar Albà

Author Affiliations

Wohl Virion Centre, Department of Immunology and Molecular Pathology, University College London, Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JF, UK

Genome Biology 2001, 2:reviews3002-reviews3002.4  doi:10.1186/gb-2001-2-1-reviews3002

Published: 12 January 2001


Replicative DNA polymerases are essential for the replication of the genomes of all living organisms. On the basis of sequence similarities they can be classified into three types. Type A polymerases are homologous to bacterial polymerases I, Type B comprises archaebacterial DNA polymerases and eukaryotic DNA polymerase α, and the bacterial polymerase III class make up type C. Structures have been solved for several type A and B polymerases, which share a similar architecture. The structure of type C is not yet known. The catalytic mechanism of all three types involves two metal-ion-binding acidic residues in the active site. Replicative polymerases are constitutively expressed, but their activity is regulated through the cell cycle and in response to different growth conditions.