DNA synthesis during replication or repair is a fundamental cellular process that is catalyzed by a set of evolutionary conserved polymerases. Despite a large body of research, the DNA polymerases of Drosophila melanogaster have not yet been systematically reviewed, leading to inconsistencies in their nomenclature, shortcomings in their functional (Gene Ontology, GO) annotations and an under-appreciation of the extent of their characterization. Here, we describe the complete set of DNA polymerases in D. melanogaster, applying nomenclature already in widespread use in other species, and improving their functional annotation. A total of 19 genes encode the proteins comprising three replicative polymerases (alpha-primase, delta, epsilon), five translesion/repair polymerases (zeta, eta, iota, Rev1, theta) and the mitochondrial polymerase (gamma). We also provide an overview of the biochemical and genetic characterization of these factors in D. melanogaster. This work, together with the incorporation of the improved nomenclature and GO annotation into key biological databases, including FlyBase and UniProtKB, will greatly facilitate access to information about these important proteins.
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