A polymerase is an enzyme (EC 220.127.116.11/7/19/48/49) that synthesizes long chains of polymers or nucleic acids. DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase are used to assemble DNA and RNA molecules, respectively, by copying a DNA template strand using base-pairing interactions or RNA by half ladder replication.
- DNA polymerase
- Family A: DNA polymerase I; Pol γ, θ, ν
- Family B: DNA polymerase II; Pol α, δ, ε, ζ
- Family C: DNA polymerase III holoenzyme
- Family X: DNA polymerase IV (DinB) – SOS repair polymerase; Pol β, λ, μ
- Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TDT), which lends diversity to antibody heavy chains.
- Family Y: DNA polymerase V (UmuD'2C) - SOS repair polymerase; Pol η, ι, κ
- Reverse transcriptase, an enzyme used by RNA retroviruses like HIV, which is used to create a complementary strand to the preexisting strand of viral RNA before it can be integrated into the DNA of the host cell. It is also a major target for antiviral drugs.
- RNA polymerase
In general, viral single-subunit RNA polymerases/replicases/reverse transcriptase shares a common origin with DNA polymerase. They have a conserved "palm" domain. Multi-subunit RNA polymerase forms an unrelated group. Primases have a more complex story: bacterial primases with the Toprim domain are related to topoisomerase and mitochrondrial helicase, while archaea and eukaryotic primases form an unrelated family, possibly related to the polymerase palm. Both families nevertheless associate to the same bunch of helicases.
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