Genetic analysis of the interaction between bacteriophage T7 DNA polymerase and Escherichia coli thioredoxin.


Gene 5 protein of bacteriophage T7 is a nonprocessive DNA polymerase. During infection of Escherichia coli, T7 annexes the host protein thioredoxin for use as a processivity factor for T7 DNA polymerase. We describe here a genetic method to investigate the interaction between T7 gene 5 protein and E. coli thioredoxin. The strategy is to use thioredoxin mutants that are unable to support the growth of wild-type T7 phage to select for T7 revertant phage that suppress the defect in thioredoxin. A thioredoxin mutation that replaces glycine at position 74 with aspartic acid fails to support the growth of wild-type T7. This mutation is suppressed by six different mutations within T7 gene 5, each of which results in a single amino acid substitution within gene 5 protein. Three of the suppressor mutations are located within the putative polymerization domain of gene 5 protein, and three are located within the putative 3'-to-5' exonucleolytic domain. Each suppressor mutation alone is necessary and sufficient to confer the revertant phenotype.





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