A polymerase is an enzyme (EC 184.108.40.206/7/19/48/49) 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.
Other well-known polymerases include:
- Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase (TDT), which lends diversity to antibody heavy chains.
- 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.
- DNA polymerase
- RNA polymerase
- Loc'h, Jérôme. "Structural Basis for a New Templated Activity by Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase: Implications for V(D)J Recombination". Structure. 24: 1452–1463. doi:10.1016/j.str.2016.06.014. Retrieved 2017-06-24.