Mutations in yeast proliferating cell nuclear antigen define distinct sites for interaction with DNA polymerase delta and DNA polymerase epsilon.

Abstract:

The importance of the interdomain connector loop and of the carboxy-terminal domain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) for functional interaction with DNA polymerases delta (Poldelta) and epsilon (Pol epsilon) was investigated by site-directed mutagenesis. Two alleles, pol30-79 (IL126,128AA) in the interdomain connector loop and pol30-90 (PK252,253AA) near the carboxy terminus, caused growth defects and elevated sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. These two mutants also had elevated rates of spontaneous mutations. The mutator phenotype of pol30-90 was due to partially defective mismatch repair in the mutant. In vitro, the mutant PCNAs showed defects in DNA synthesis. Interestingly, the pol30-79 mutant PCNA (pcna-79) was most defective in replication with Poldelta, whereas pcna-90 was defective in replication with Pol epsilon. Protein-protein interaction studies showed that pcna-79 and pcna-90 failed to interact with Pol delta and Pol epsilon, respectively. In addition, pcna-90 was defective in interaction with the FEN-1 endo-exonuclease (RTH1 product). A loss of interaction between pcna-79 and the smallest subunit of Poldelta, the POL32 gene product, implicates this interaction in the observed defect with the polymerase. Neither PCNA mutant showed a defect in the interaction with replication factor C or in loading by this complex. Processivity of DNA synthesis by the mutant holoenzyme containing pcna-79 was unaffected on poly(dA) x oligo(dT) but was dramatically reduced on a natural template with secondary structure. A stem-loop structure with a 20-bp stem formed a virtually complete block for the holoenzyme containing pcna-79 but posed only a minor pause site for wild-type holoenzyme, indicating a function of the POL32 gene product in allowing replication past structural blocks.

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