Using 2-aminopurine fluorescence and mutational analysis to demonstrate an active role of bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase in strand separation required for 3' --> 5'-exonuclease activity.

Abstract:

The fluorescence of 2-aminopurine deoxynucleotide positioned in a 3'-terminal mismatch was used to evaluate the pre-steady state kinetics of the 3' --> 5' exonuclease activity of bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase on defined DNA substrates. DNA substrates with one, two, or three preformed terminal mispairs simulated increasing degrees of strand separation at a primer terminus. The effects of base pair stability and local DNA sequence on excision rates were investigated by using DNA substrates that were either relatively G + C- or A + T-rich. The importance of strand separation as a prerequisite to the hydrolysis of a terminal nucleotide was demonstrated by using a unique mutant DNA polymerase that could degrade single-stranded but not double-stranded DNA, unless two or more 3'-terminal nucleotides were unpaired. Our results led us to conclude that the reduced exonuclease activity of this mutant DNA polymerase on duplex DNA substrates is due to a defect in melting the primer terminus in preparation for the excision reaction. The mutated amino acid (serine substitution for glycine at codon 255) resides in a critical loop structure determined from a crystallographic study of an amino-terminal fragment of T4 DNA polymerase. These results suggest an active role for amino acid residues in the exonuclease domain of the T4 DNA polymerase in the strand separation step.

Polymerases:

Topics:

Biotech Applications, Kinetic Parameters, Nucleotide Analogs / Template Lesions, Fidelity, Exonuclease Activity, Enzyme Substrate Interactions, Methods

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