Difference Between DNA Polymerase and RNA Polymerase

Main Difference

The main difference between DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase is that the DNA polymerase always involves in the replication process of DNA, whereas the RNA polymerase always involves in the transcription process.

DNA Polymerase vs. RNA Polymerase

DNA polymerase is the enzyme involved in the manufacturing of DNA double-stranded molecule, whereas the RNA polymerase is the enzyme involved in the manufacturing of RNA single-stranded molecule. DNA polymerase enzyme involved in the replication process of DNA while the RNA polymerase enzyme involved in the transcription process. DNA polymerase enzyme always needs nucleotides of DNA to make the new nucleotides of DNA; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme always needs RNA nucleotides to make the new nucleotides of the RNA.

DNA polymerase enzyme is mainly needed importantly in the S phase; on the flip side, RNA polymerase enzyme is mainly needed in the G1 and G2 phase of the growth phase cell cycle. DNA polymerase always acts on the replication fork of the DNA that is opened with the help of Helicase enzyme; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme acts on the trigger sites present on the strands of DNA. DNA polymerase enzyme needs DNA gyrase for its activation, whereas the RNA polymerase always needs the holoenzyme for its activation.

DNA polymerase enzyme cannot start the process on its own, whereas the RNA polymerase enzyme can start its process without any help. DNA polymerase enzyme always needs the primers to start the replication process of DNA; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme does not need the primers to start the transcription process. The activities of exonuclease enzyme are present in DNA polymerase; on the flip side, the activities of the exonuclease enzyme is not present in RNA polymerase.

The efficiency of DNA polymerase is greater than that of the RNA polymerase; on the other hand, the efficiency of RNA polymerase is less than that of the DNA polymerase. The error rate in DNA polymerase is very low; on the flip side, the error rate in RNA polymerase is very high. DNA polymerase is divided into three further types, whereas the RNA polymerase is divided into five further types.

The DNA polymerase cannot stop the replication process on its own; on the other hand, RNA polymerase can stop the transcription process. The speed rate of DNA polymerase is 1000 nucleotides per second in prokaryotes; on the other hand, the speed rate of RNA polymerase is 40-80 nucleotides per second in prokaryotes. The DNA polymerase involved in the elongation of DNA molecules; on the flip side, the RNA polymerase involved in the elongation of the RNA molecule.

Comparison Chart

DNA PolymeraseRNA Polymerase
DNA polymerase is the enzyme involved in the manufacturing of DNA double-stranded molecule.The RNA polymerase is the enzyme involved in the manufacturing of the single-stranded RNA molecule.
Uses
In the DNA replication processIn the transcription process
Product
DNA-double strand moleculeRNA-single strand molecule
Nucleotides
Use DNA nucleotides to make a DNA moleculeUse RNA nucleotides to make the RNA molecule
Actions
In S1 phaseIn G1 and G2 phase
Essential Enzyme
DNA GyraseHaloenzyme
Primers
Essential for itNot essential for it
Exonuclease Activity
Present in itAbsent in it
Elongation
Elongate the entire chromosomesElongate the entire RNA strands
Speed
The speed of DNA polymerase is 1000 nucleotides per second in prokaryotes.The speed rate of RNA polymerase is 40-80 nucleotides per second in prokaryotes.
Error Rate
The error rate in DNA polymerase is very lowThe error rate in RNA polymerase is very high
Efficiency
The efficiency of DNA polymerase is greaterEfficiency of RNA polymerase is less than that of the DNA polymerase.
Types
DNA polymerase is divided into three further typesThe RNA polymerase is divided into five further types

What is DNA Polymerase?

DNA polymerase is the type of enzyme that is present in the cell of the living organisms that is mainly involved in making the DNA-double stranded molecule. It involves the complete elongation of the entire chromosomes in the cell during the S phase of the cell division. The exonuclease enzyme activity is much prominent in the DNA polymerase.

It always adds new nucleotides at the 3’ end of the DNA strand. It always proceeds the further process of the replication process in 3 to 5 direction. Its main disadvantage is that it always adds new nucleotides only when there is present a part of the RNA strand known as the primers, that can be removed later with the other DNA polymerase.

The efficiency of DNA polymerase is much greater than that of all the enzymes that are present in the organisms. Its speed of working efficiency is greater in prokaryotes than that in eukaryotes. It can add the DNA nucleotides at the rate of 1000 per sec in prokaryotes and 100 per sec in eukaryotes.

The other important enzymes that are involved in the replication process in the help of DNA polymerase are DNA Gyrase and helicase enzymes. The types of DNA polymerase in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are the DNA polymerase I, DNA polymerase II, and DNA polymerase III.

What is RNA Polymerase?

The RNA polymerase is the enzyme that is present in the cell of the living organisms that is mainly involved in making the RNA-single stranded molecule. It involves the complete elongation of the entire RNA molecule during the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle in cell division. The exonucleases activity usually absents in the RNA polymerase.

It adds the new nucleotides of RNA molecules that are involved in the transcription process. It also proceeds in 3 to 5 direction of the new daughter strand. The efficiency of RNA polymerase is much less than the DNA polymerase. The blunder rate is much greater than the other enzyme.

Its speed of competence is 40-80 per sec nucleotides of RNA in the prokaryotes and eukaryotes both. The haloenzyme present in the process of formation of RNA molecules. Only one type of RNA polymerase is present in the prokaryotes, whereas the other three types are present in eukaryotes that are RNA polymerase I, RNA polymerase II, and RNA polymerase III.

Key Differences

  1. DNA polymerase is the enzyme that involves the formation of a DNA double-stranded molecule, whereas the RNA polymerase is the enzyme that involves the formation of a single-stranded RNA molecule.
  2. DNA polymerase enzyme catalysis the replication process; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme catalysis the transcription process.
  3. DNA polymerase enzyme involved in the replication process of DNA while the RNA polymerase enzyme involved in the transcription process.
  4. DNA polymerase enzyme usually requires the nucleotides of DNA to make the further new nucleotides of DNA; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme usually requires RNA nucleotides to make the further new nucleotides of the RNA.
  5. DNA polymerase enzyme performs a function in S phase; on the flip side, RNA polymerase enzyme performs important functions in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle.
  6. DNA polymerase always uses in the double-stranded molecule of the DNA that is open with the help of Helicase enzyme; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme acts on the trigger sites present on the strands of DNA.
  7. DNA polymerase enzyme requires DNA gyrase for its activation, whereas the RNA polymerase always requires the haloenzyme for its activation.
  8. DNA polymerase enzyme cannot initiate the process on its own without any help of external agents, whereas the RNA polymerase enzyme can initiate its process without any help of external agents.
  9. DNA polymerase enzyme generally uses the ribonucleic acid primers to initiate the replication process of DNA; on the other hand, RNA polymerase enzyme does not use the ribonucleic acid primers to initiate the transcription process.
  10. The competency of DNA polymerase is greater than the competency of the RNA polymerase; on the other hand, the competency of RNA polymerase is less than the competency of the DNA polymerase.
  11. The blunder rate is generally very low in DNA polymerase; on the flip side, it is generally very high in RNA polymerase.
  12. The division of DNA polymerase is generally into three types; on the flip side, the division of RNA polymerase is generally into three types.
  13. The DNA polymerase cannot initiate the replication process without any help; on the other hand, RNA polymerase can initiate the transcription process without any help.
  14. One thousand nucleotides per second is the speed of DNA polymerase in prokaryotes; on the other hand, 40-80 nucleotides per second is the speed of RNA polymerase in prokaryotes.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the DNA polymerase and RNA polymerase are the enzymes that are present in the cell during the cell cycle. DNA polymerase is the enzyme that is involved in the engineering of the DNA molecule; on the other hand, RNA polymerase is the enzyme that is involved in the engineering of an RNA molecule.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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