Portraits of a Y-family DNA polymerase

FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 7;579(4):868-72. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2004.11.047.


Members of the Y-family of DNA polymerases catalyze template-dependent DNA synthesis but share no sequence homology with other known DNA polymerases. Y-family polymerases exhibit high error rates and low processivity when copying normal DNA but are able to synthesize DNA opposite damaged templates. In the past three years, much has been learned about this family of polymerases including determination of more than a dozen crystal structures with various substrates. In this short review, I will summarize the biochemical properties and structural features of Y-family DNA polymerases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 7,8-Dihydro-7,8-dihydroxybenzo(a)pyrene 9,10-oxide / pharmacology
  • Archaea / enzymology
  • Archaeal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Archaeal Proteins / physiology
  • Base Pairing / drug effects
  • Binding Sites
  • Crystallography
  • DNA / drug effects
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / chemistry*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / physiology
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Conformation
  • Pyrimidine Dimers / metabolism


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • Pyrimidine Dimers
  • 7,8-Dihydro-7,8-dihydroxybenzo(a)pyrene 9,10-oxide
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase