The human RAD30B gene has recently been shown to encode a novel DNA polymerase, DNA polymerase i (poli). The role of poli within the cell is presently unknown, and the only clues to its cellular function come from its biochemical characterization in vitro. The aim of this short review is, therefore, to summarize the known enzymic activities of poli and to speculate as to how these biochemical properties might relate to its in vivo function.

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