The herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA polymerase processivity factor increases fidelity without altering pre-steady-state rate constants for polymerization or excision.

Abstract:

Pre-steady-state and steady-state kinetics of nucleotide incorporation and excision were used to assess potential mechanisms by which the fidelity of the herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA polymerase catalytic subunit (Pol) is enhanced by its processivity factor, UL42. UL42 had no effect on the pre-steady-state rate constant for correct nucleotide incorporation (150 s(-1)) nor on the primary rate-limiting conformational step. However, the equilibrium dissociation constant for the enzyme in a stable complex with primer-template was 44 nm for Pol and 7.0 nm for Pol/UL42. The catalytic subunit and holoenzyme both selected against incorrect nucleotide incorporation predominantly at the level of nucleotide affinity, although UL42 slowed by 4-fold the maximum rate of incorporation of incorrect, compared with correct, nucleotide. Pol, with or without UL42, cleaved matched termini at a slower rate than mismatched ones, but UL42 did not significantly alter the pre-steady-state rate constant for mismatch excision ( approximately 16 s(-1)). The steady-state rate constant for nucleotide addition was 0.09 s(-1) and 0.03 s(-1) for Pol and Pol/UL42, respectively, and enzyme dissociation was the rate-limiting step. The longer half-life for DNA complexes with Pol/UL42 (23 s) compared with that with Pol (8 s) affords a greater probability for excision when a misincorporation event does occur, accounting predominantly for the failure of Pol/UL42 to accumulate mismatched product at moderate nucleotide concentrations.

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