The eukaryotic DNA replication machinery is conserved from yeast to humans and requires the actions of multiple DNA polymerases. In addition to replicative DNA polymerases for duplication of the leading and lagging DNA strands, another group of specialized polymerases is required for DNA repair and/or translesion DNA synthesis (TLS). We emphasize here recent findings that accelerate our understanding of the structure and mechanisms of these remarkable enzymes. We also highlight growing evidence on the role of DNA polymerases in the origin of certain cancers, and paradoxically as emerging targets for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Structural Biology
StatePublished - Dec 2018


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