Control of mutation frequency by bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase. I. The CB120 antimutator DNA polymerase is defective in strand displacement.


The ts CB1200 (antimutator) mutation in bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase increases the accuracy of DNA replication since it results in a decrease in the frequency of mutations in other phage genes. The CB120 polymerases differs from the wild type enzyme in the slow rate at which it copies templates where primer extension requries displacement of polynucleotides base-paired to the template strand, even in the presence of the T4 DNA unwinding protein (gene 32-protein). The ratio of nucleotides turned over (DNA-dependent conversion of deoxynucleoside triphosphate to deoxynucleoside monophosphate) to nucleotides stably incorporated into product is 10 to 100 times higher with the mutant than wild type enzyme, depending on the DNA used as the template. This high turnover rate may increase the efficiency of removal of noncomplementary nucleotides by the antimutator enzyme and is in agreement with the findings of Muzyczka et al, (Muzyczka, N., Poland, R. L., and Bessman, M. J. (1972) J. Biol, Cehm. 247, 7116-7122) with the L141 and L42 antimutator T4 DNA polymerases. Since the 3'- to 5'-exonuclease activity of the CB120 mutant polymerase is not higher than that of the wild type enzyme, it is suggested that the high turnover rate may result from increased opportunity to remove newly incorporated nucleotides due to the slow rate at which the mutant enzyme moves to the next template nucleotide. In the accompanying paper we show that the CB120 antimutator polymerase also initially selects incorrect nucleotides for incorporation less frequently than the wild type enzyme. Thus this antimutator polymerase appears to have both greater accuracy in nucleotide selection and an enhanced ability to remove incorrect nucleotides.





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