The expanding polymerase universe

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;1(2):101-9. doi: 10.1038/35040051.


Over the past year, the number of known prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA polymerases has exploded. Many of these newly discovered enzymes copy aberrant bases in the DNA template over which 'respectable' polymerases fear to tread. The next step is to unravel their functions, which are thought to range from error-prone copying of DNA lesions, somatic hypermutation and avoidance of skin cancer, to restarting stalled replication forks and repairing double-stranded DNA breaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / classification
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics
  • Templates, Genetic


  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase