Inactivation of the 5'-3' exonuclease of Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase.

Abstract:

The gene for Thermus aquaticus (Taq) DNA polymerase enzyme (Taq Pol I) was mutagenized and sixty-two candidate clones were screened for enzyme activity. Two of the clones expressed enzymes (*Taq-3 and *Taq-5) that showed very reduced 5'-3' exonuclease activity and normal DNA polymerase activity. These two enzymes showed heat resitance and storage stability similar to Taq Pol I and had similar effectiveness in PCR. Processivity of the polymerases was compared by measuring the extension of an end-labeled primer annealed to a single stranded DNA, as well as by a PCR method. The processivity of *Taq-3 and *Taq-5 was similar to Taq Pol I (50-80 nucleotides) and more processive than a Taq Pol I deficient in the 5'-3' exonuclease due to absence of the first 290 amino acids (Stoffel fragment). The results indicate two amino acids which are required for normal 5'-3' exonuclease activity in Taq Pol I (Arg-25 and Arg-74).

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