Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 62, Issue 18, pp 2080–2091 | Cite as

Nucleotide analogues as probes for DNA polymerases

  • K.-H. Jung
  • A. MarxEmail author


Transmission of the genetic information from the parental DNA strand to the offspring is crucial for the survival of any living species. In nature, all DNA synthesis in DNA replication, recombination and repair is catalyzed by DNA polymerases and depends on their ability to select the canonical nucleobase pair from a pool of structurally similar building blocks. Recently, a wealth of valuable new insights into DNA polymerase mechanisms have been gained through application of carefully designed synthetic nucleotides and oligonucleotides in functional enzyme studies. The applied analogues exhibit features that differ in certain aspects from their natural counterparts and, thus, allow investigation of the involvement and efficacy of a chosen particular aspect on the entire complex enzyme mechanism. This review will focus on a depiction of the efforts that have been undertaken towards the development of nucleotide analogues with carefully altered properties. The different approaches will be discussed in the context of the motivation and the problem under investigation.

Key words.

DNA DNA polymerase DNA replication nucleotide analogue DNA replication fidelity 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Organische Chemie/Zelluläre Chemie, Fachbereich ChemieUniversität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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