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Bacteriophage-Encoded DNA Polymerases—Beyond the Traditional View of Polymerase Activities

Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdansk, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdansk, Poland
Laboratory of Phage Therapy, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kładki 24, 80-822 Gdansk, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Antonio Mas López
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(2), 635;
Received: 30 November 2021 / Revised: 28 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 7 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection 21st Anniversary of IJMS: Advances in Biochemistry)
DNA polymerases are enzymes capable of synthesizing DNA. They are involved in replication of genomes of all cellular organisms as well as in processes of DNA repair and genetic recombination. However, DNA polymerases can also be encoded by viruses, including bacteriophages, and such enzymes are involved in viral DNA replication. DNA synthesizing enzymes are grouped in several families according to their structures and functions. Nevertheless, there are examples of bacteriophage-encoded DNA polymerases which are significantly different from other known enzymes capable of catalyzing synthesis of DNA. These differences are both structural and functional, indicating a huge biodiversity of bacteriophages and specific properties of their enzymes which had to evolve under certain conditions, selecting unusual properties of the enzymes which are nonetheless crucial for survival of these viruses, propagating as special kinds of obligatory parasites. In this review, we present a brief overview on DNA polymerases, and then we discuss unusual properties of different bacteriophage-encoded enzymes, such as those able to initiate DNA synthesis using the protein-priming mechanisms or even start this process without any primer, as well as able to incorporate untypical nucleotides. Apart from being extremely interesting examples of biochemical biodiversity, bacteriophage-encoded DNA polymerases can also be useful tools in genetic engineering and biotechnology. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophage; DNA polymerases; DNA replication bacteriophage; DNA polymerases; DNA replication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Morcinek-Orłowska, J.; Zdrojewska, K.; Węgrzyn, A. Bacteriophage-Encoded DNA Polymerases—Beyond the Traditional View of Polymerase Activities. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 635.

AMA Style

Morcinek-Orłowska J, Zdrojewska K, Węgrzyn A. Bacteriophage-Encoded DNA Polymerases—Beyond the Traditional View of Polymerase Activities. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2022; 23(2):635.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Morcinek-Orłowska, Joanna, Karolina Zdrojewska, and Alicja Węgrzyn. 2022. "Bacteriophage-Encoded DNA Polymerases—Beyond the Traditional View of Polymerase Activities" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23, no. 2: 635.

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