Polymerase

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Structure of Taq DNA polymerase

A polymerase is an enzyme (EC 2.7.7.6/7/19/48/49) that synthesizes polymers of nucleic acids. DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase are used to assemble DNA and RNA molecules, respectively, by copying a DNA or RNA template strand using base-pairing interactions.

It is an accident of history that the enzymes responsible for the generation of other biopolymers are not also referred to as polymerases. For example, the enzymatic complex that assembles amino acids into proteins is termed the ribosome, rather than "protein polymerase".

A polymerase from the thermophilic bacterium, Thermus aquaticus (Taq) (PDB 1BGX, EC 2.7.7.7) is used in the polymerase chain reaction, an important technique of molecular biology.

Other well-known polymerases include:

See also[edit]