Specific inhibition of DNA polymerase beta by its 14 kDa domain: role of single- and double-stranded DNA binding and 5'-phosphate recognition.

Abstract:

DNA polymerase beta (beta-polymerase) has been implicated in short-patch DNA synthesis in the DNA repair pathway known as base excision repair. The native 39 kDa enzyme is organized into four structurally and functionally distinct domains. In an effort to examine this enzyme as a potential therapeutic target, we analyzed the effect of various beta-polymerase domains on the activity of the enzyme in vitro. We show that the 14 kDa N-terminal segment of beta-polymerase, which binds to both single- and double-stranded DNA, but lacks DNA polymerase activity, inhibits beta-polymerase activity in vitro. Most importantly, the 8, 27 and 31 kDa domains of beta-polymerase do not inhibit beta-polymerase activity, demonstrating that the inhibition by the 14 kDa domain is specific. The inhibition of beta-polymerase activity in vitro is abolished by increasing the concentrations of both of the substrates (template-primer and deoxynucleoside triphosphate). In contrast, an in vitro base excision repair assay is inhibited in a domain specific manner by the 14 kDa domain even in the presence of saturating substrates. The inhibition of beta-polymerase activity by the 14 kDa domain appears specific to beta-polymerase as this domain does not inhibit either mammalian DNA polymerase alpha or Escherichia coli polymerase I (Klenow fragment). These data suggest that the 14 kDa domain could be used as a potential inhibitor of intracellular beta-polymerase and that it may provide a means for sensitizing cells to therapeutically relevant DNA damaging agents.

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