Identification and tryptic cleavage of the catalytic core of HeLa and calf thymus DNA polymerase epsilon.

Abstract:

DNA polymerase epsilon, formerly known as a proliferating cell nuclear antigen-independent form of DNA polymerase delta, has been shown elsewhere to be catalytically and structurally distinct from DNA polymerase delta. The catalytic activity of HeLa DNA polymerase epsilon, an enzyme consisting of greater than 200- and 55-kDa polypeptides, was assigned to the larger polypeptide by polymerase trap reaction. This catalytic polypeptide was cleaved by incubation with trypsin into two polypeptide fragments with molecular masses of 122 and 136 kDa, the former of which was relatively resistant to further proteolysis and possessed the polymerase activity. The cleavage increased the polymerase and exonuclease activities of the enzyme some 2-3-fold. DNA polymerase epsilon was also purified in a smaller 140-kDa form from calf thymus. The digestion of this form of the enzyme by trypsin also generated a 122-kDa polypeptide. These results suggest that the catalytic core of DNA polymerase epsilon is a 258-kDa polypeptide that is composed of two segments linked with a protease-sensitive area. One of the segments harbors both DNA polymerase and 3'----5' exonuclease activities. In spite of the different polypeptide structures, the catalytic properties of the HeLa enzyme, its trypsin-digested form, and the calf thymus enzyme remained essentially the same.

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