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Means by which the synthesis of DNA strands is initiated, that is, by which DNA polymerase is provided with a 3' hydroxyl group to which incoming nucleotides are added.
RNA priming is catalyzed by the enzyme primase, which is a DNA-templated RNA polymerase. While the resulting RNA initially forms a portion of the synthesized DNA strand, at some point that RNA primer must be removed and replaced with DNA.
This process, both priming and removal, occurs repeatedly on the lagging strand in association with Okazaki fragment synthesis.
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