The effect of in vitro heat exposure on the recovery of nuclear matrix-bound DNA polymerase alpha activity during the different phases of the cell cycle in synchronized HeLa S3 cells.


HeLa S3 cells were synchronized by a double thymidine block or aphidicolin treatment and the levels of nuclear matrix-bound DNA polymerase alpha activity were then measured using activated calf thymus DNA as template. The nuclear matrix was obtained by 2 M NaCl extraction and DNase I digestion of isolated nuclei incubated at 37 degrees C for 45 min prior to subfractionation. In all phases of the cell cycle 25-30% of nuclear DNA polymerase alpha activity remained matrix-bound, even when cells were in the G1 phase. No dynamic association of DNA polymerase alpha activity with the matrix was seen, at variance with previous results obtained in regenerating rat liver. The variations measured in matrix-bound activity closely followed those detected in isolated nuclei throughout the cell cycle. If nuclei were not heat-stabilized very low levels of DNA polymerase alpha activity were measured in the matrix (1-2% of total nuclear activity). Heat incubation of nuclei failed to produce any enrichment in matrix-associated newly replicated DNA, whereas the sulfhydryl cross-linking chemical sodium tetrathionate did. Therefore the results obtained after the heat stabilization procedure do not completely fit with the model that envisions the nuclear matrix as the active site where eucaryotic DNA replication takes place.




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