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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 3, Pages 21-33
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2003.05
Mini-Review Article

The DNA Polymerase _-Primase Complex: Multiple Functions and Interactions

Dipartimento di Genetica e di Biologia dei Microrganismi, Universit? degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy

Academic Editor: Robert P. Learmonth

Copyright © 2003 Marco Muzi-Falconi et al.

Abstract

DNA polymerase _ (pol _) holds a special position among the growing family of eukaryotic DNA polymerases. In fact, pol _ is associated with DNA primase to form a four subunit complex and, as a consequence, is the only enzyme able to start DNA synthesis de novo. Because of this peculiarity the major role of the DNA polymerase _-primase complex (pol-prim) is in the initiation of DNA replication at chromosomal origins and in the discontinuous synthesis of Okazaki fragments on the lagging strand of the replication fork. However, pol-prim seems to play additional roles in other complex cellular processes, such as the response to DNA damage, telomere maintenance, and the epigenetic control of higher order chromatin assembly.