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Polymerases: Properties

All nucleic acid polymerases catalyze the addition of a deoxynucleoside or nucleoside monophosphate (NMP; nucleotide) to the 3' oxygen of an existing polynucleotide chain. Polymerases differ in many properties:

template D D D D R N N N
product D D D R D R R D
initiation N N N Y N Y N N
processivity M M H H M L M L
nucleases 3+5 3 3+5 N H N E N
fidelity H H M L L 0 0 0
thermostability N N Y N N N N N
Key to Enzyme abbreviations
DP E. coli DNA polymerase I
DPK Klenow fragment of DP
TD Taq DNA polymerase
RP RNA polymerases
RT Reverse transcriptases
PNPP Polynucleotide phosphorylase
PA PolyA polymerase
TdT Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase


Explanations of the properties (bold face letters are keys to abbreviations used in the body of the table):

Many variations of the above fundamental types of polymerases exist, including many that resulted from genetic engineering of their genes to odify the enzymatic properties.

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This is page 424 of Molecular Genetics by Ulrich Melcher, ©1997, 1998, 2014

E-mail inquiries to U. Melcher------------Last Updated: 30 August, 2014