Functional interaction between Epstein-Barr virus DNA polymerase catalytic subunit and its accessory subunit in vitro.

Abstract:

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA polymerase catalytic subunit (BALF5 protein) and its accessory subunit (BMRF1 protein) have been independently overexpressed and purified (T. Tsurumi, A. Kobayashi, K. Tamai, T. Daikoku, R. Kurachi, and Y. Nishiyama, J. Virol. 67:4651-4658, 1993; T. Tsurumi, J. Virol. 67:1681-1687, 1993). In an investigation of the molecular basis of protein-protein interactions between the subunits of the EBV DNA polymerase holoenzyme, we compared the DNA polymerase activity catalyzed by the BALF5 protein in the presence or absence of the BMRF1 polymerase accessory subunit in vitro. The DNA polymerase activity of the BALF5 polymerase catalytic subunit alone was sensitive to high ionic strength on an activated DNA template (80% inhibition at 100 mM ammonium sulfate). Addition of the polymerase accessory subunit to the reaction greatly enhanced DNA polymerase activity in the presence of high concentrations of ammonium sulfate (10-fold stimulation at 100 mM ammonium sulfate). Optimal stimulation was obtained when the molar ratio of BMRF1 protein to BALF5 protein was 2 or more. The DNA polymerase activity of the BALF5 protein along with the BMRF1 protein was neutralized by a monoclonal antibody to the BMRF1 protein, whereas that of the BALF5 protein alone was not, suggesting a specific interaction between the BALF5 protein and the BMRF1 protein in the reaction. The processivity of nucleotide polymerization of the BALF5 polymerase catalytic subunit on singly primed M13 single-stranded DNA circles was low (approximately 50 nucleotides). Addition of the BMRF1 polymerase accessory subunit resulted in a strikingly high processive mode of deoxynucleotide polymerization (> 7,200 nucleotides). These findings strongly suggest that the BMRF1 polymerase accessory subunit stabilizes interaction between the EBV DNA polymerase and primer template and functions as a sliding clamp at the growing 3'-OH end of the primer terminus to increase the processivity of polymerization.

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