DNA polymerase epsilon: the latest member in the family of mammalian DNA polymerases.


DNA polymerase epsilon is a mammalian polymerase that has a tightly ...
DNA polymerase epsilon is a mammalian polymerase that has a tightly associated 3'----5' exonuclease activity. Because of this readily detectable exonuclease activity, the enzyme has been regarded as a form of DNA polymerase delta, an enzyme which, together with DNA polymerase alpha, is in all probability required for the replication of chromosomal DNA. Recently, it was discovered that DNA polymerase epsilon is both catalytically and structurally distinct from DNA polymerase delta. The most striking difference between the two DNA polymerases is that processive DNA synthesis by DNA polymerase delta is dependent on proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a replication factor, while DNA polymerase epsilon is inherently processive. DNA polymerase epsilon is required at least for the repair synthesis of UV-damaged DNA. DNA polymerases are highly conserved in eukaryotic cells. Mammalian DNA polymerases alpha, delta and epsilon are counterparts of yeast DNA polymerases I, III and II, respectively. Like DNA polymerases I and III, DNA polymerase II is also essential for the viability of cells, which suggests that DNA polymerase II (and epsilon) may play a role in DNA replication.




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