DNA Polymerases: Eukaryotic


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymerases are enzymes that can use the four bases A, T, G and C to synthesize DNA according to the Watson–Crick base‐pair rule (A to T and G to C). They require a template DNA and a nucleic acid (ribonucleic acid or DNA) for initiation of DNA synthesis and use the energy of the four deoxyribonucleoside 5′ triphosphates to incorporate deoxyribonucleoside 5′ monophosphates onto the template DNA.

Keywords: DNA polymerases; DNA replication; DNA repair mechanisms; translesion DNA synthesis; cell‐cycle and checkpoint functions

Figure 1.

The ATPase switch for the matchmaker ATPase replication factor C is essential for the function of DNA polymerase δ. The cycle starts at step 1 by binding of ATP to RF‐C and continues until step 8, when the cycle can begin again.



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Hübscher U, Maga G and Spadari S (2002) Eukaryotic DNA polymerases. Annual Review of Biochemistry 71: 133–163.

Hübscher U, Nasheuer HP and Syväoja J (2000) Eukaryotic DNA polymerases, a growing family. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 25: 143–147.

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Further Reading

Baker TA and Bell SP (1998) Polymerases and the replisome: machines within machines. Cell 92: 295–305.

Cox MM, Goodman MF, Kreuzer KN, et al. (2000) The importance of repairing stalled replication forks. Nature 404: 37–41.

DePamphilis ML (1996) DNA Replication in Eukaryotic Cells. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Falaschi A (2000) Eukaryotic DNA replication: a model for a fixed double replisome. Trends in Genetics 16: 88–92.

Haber JE (1999) DNA recombination: the replication connection. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 25: 271–275.

Hübscher U and Spadari S (1994) DNA replication and chemotherapy. Physiological Reviews 74: 259–304.

Kornberg A and Baker TA (1992) DNA Replication. New York, NY: Freeman and Company.

Lindahl T and Wood RD (1999) Quality control by DNA repair. Science 286: 1899–1905.

Tye BK (2000) Insight into DNA replication from the third domain of life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97: 2399–2401.

Web Links

Polymerase (DNA directed), eta (POLH); Locus ID: 5429. LocusLink: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/LocusLink/LocRpt.cgi?l=5429

Polymerase (DNA directed), eta (POLH); MIM number: 603968. OMIM: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin‐post/Omim/dispmim?603968

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How to Cite close
Hübscher, Ulrich(Sep 2005) DNA Polymerases: Eukaryotic. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005058]