Total reconstitution of DNA polymerase III holoenzyme reveals dual accessory protein clamps.

Abstract:

DNA polymerase III holoenzyme (holoenzyme) is the 10-subunit replicase of the Escherichia coli chromosome. In this report, pure preparations of delta, delta', and a gamma chi psi complex are resolved from the five protein gamma complex subassembly. Using these subunits and other holoenzyme subunits isolated from overproducing plasmid strains of E. coli, the rapid and highly processive holoenzyme has been reconstituted from only five pure single subunits: alpha, epsilon, gamma, delta, and beta. The preceding report showed that of the three subunits in the core polymerase, only a complex of alpha (DNA polymerase) and epsilon (3'-5' exonuclease) are required to assemble a processive holoenzyme on a template containing a preinitiation complex (Studwell, P.S., and O'Donnell, M. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 1171-1178). This report shows that of the five proteins in the gamma complex only a heterodimer of gamma and delta is required with the beta subunit to form the ATP-activated preinitiation complex with a primed template. Surprisingly, the delta' subunit does not form an active complex with gamma but forms a fully active heterodimer complex with the tau subunit (as does delta). Hence, the tau delta' and gamma delta heterodimers are fully active in the preinitiation complex reaction with beta and primed DNA. Holoenzymes reconstituted using the alpha epsilon complex, beta subunit, and either gamma delta or tau delta' are fully processive in DNA synthesis, and upon completing the template they rapidly cycle to a new primed template endowed with a preinitiation complex clamp. Since the holoenzyme molecule contains all of these accessory subunits (gamma, delta, tau, delta', and beta) in all likelihood it has the capacity to form two preinitiation complex clamps simultaneously at two primer termini. Two primer binding components within one holoenzyme may mediate its rapid cycling to multiple primers on the lagging strand and also provides functional evidence for the hypothesis of holoenzyme as a dimeric polymerase capable of simultaneous replication of both leading and lagging strands of a replication fork.

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