Fidelity of mammalian DNA polymerases

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Science  14 Aug 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4509, pp. 765-767
DOI: 10.1126/science.6454965


The fidelity of copying natural DNA in vitro with each of the three classes of eukaryotic DNA polymerases has been determined. DNA polymerases-beta and -gamma are highly inaccurate, catalyzing noncomplementary single-base substitution at a frequency between 1/3000 and 1/8000. DNA polymerase-alpha is substantially more accurate, with an error rate of 1/30,000. When the error rates of these DNA polymerases are considered in the context of the accuracy of DNA replicative processes in vivo, it seems likely that other factors must exist in mammalian cells which are involved in the accurate replication and maintenance of the genetic information.