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Genome Biol. 2001;2(1):REVIEWS3002. Epub 2001 Jan 12.

Replicative DNA polymerases.

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  • 1Wohl Virion Centre, Department of Immunology and Molecular Pathology, University College London, Cleveland Street, London, W1T 4JF, UK.



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 alpha, 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.

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