5 Key Functions of DNA Polymerase in DNA Replication

5 Key Functions of DNA Polymerase in DNA Replication


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 22 Jan,2024

DNA synthesis, replication, and repair are all significantly aided by DNA polymerase. Using the template DNA strand as a guide, its primary job is to catalyze the synthesis of a complementary DNA strand. Both the preservation of genomic stability and the transfer of genetic information during cell division depend on this.

What Does DNA Polymerase Do?

One important enzyme involved in deoxyribonucleic acid production, replication, and repair has been discovered as DNA polynucleotide phosphorylase. Its primary function is to aid in the transcription of individual nucleotides from template strands to create an identical duplicate of DNA. Genome integrity is aided by this phase, which also supports genetic heredity in cell divisions.

5 Key Functions of DNA Polymerase in DNA Replication

Listed here are five key functions of DNA polymerase related to replication:

DNA Strand Synthesis:

  1. DNA polymerases build new strands of DNA by adding complimentary nucleotides to existing ones.
  2. The growing chain is extended by the enzyme in a 5’ to 3’ manner as nucleotides are added to its 3’ end.

Primer Extension:

  1. The initiation of new RNA or primer synthesis necessitates the presence of DNA polymerase.
  2. This primer acts as the starting point through which addition of nucleotides occurs by this enzyme and completes the forming strand using base pairing.


  1. Through processivity, DNA polymerase can add several bases onto a piece of newly synthesized unattached DNA without disconnecting from its template double helix.
  2. Long lasting engagement guarantees effective and uninterrupted nucleic acid biosynthesis during replication.


  1. Some types of these enzymes possess proofreading abilities that ensure accurate copying events.
  2. It employs its exonuclease activity to identify improper additions and remove them leading to better precision in replication process.

Leading and Lagging Strand Synthesis:

  1. During replication there are two opposite strands with their relative directionality. The leading strand grows continuously towards the 3’ end, while the lagging strand is built in short discontinuous sections known as Okazaki fragments.
  2. The leading strand is made by DNA polymerase in a continuous manner.

DNA polymerase synthesizes short lengths for the lagging strand which are later on ligated to form a complete strand by DNA ligase.

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