DNA polymerases are enzymes that synthesize DNAmolecules from deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. These enzymes are essential for DNA replication and usually work in pairs to create two identical DNA strands from a single original DNA molecule. During this process, DNA polymerase "reads" the existing DNA strands to create two new strands that match the existing ones.
DNA polymerase adds nucleotides to the three prime (3')-end of a DNA strand, one nucleotide at a time.
Every time a cell divides, DNA polymerases are required to help duplicate the cell's DNA, so that a copy of the original DNA molecule can be passed to each daughter cell. In this way, genetic information is passed down from generation to generation.
Before replication can take place, an enzyme called helicase unwinds the DNA molecule from its tightly woven form, in the process breaking the hydrogen bonds between the nucleotide bases. This opens up or "unzips" the double-stranded DNA to give two single strands of DNA that can be used as templates for replication.