The evolutionary conservation of DNA polymerase alpha.

Abstract:

The evolutionary conservation of DNA polymerase alpha was assessed by immunological and molecular genetic approaches. Four anti-human KB cell DNA polymerase alpha monoclonal antibodies were tested for their ability to recognize a phylogenetically broad array of eukaryotic DNA polymerases. While the single non-neutralizing antibody used in this study recognizes higher mammalian (human, simian, canine, and bovine) polymerases only, three neutralizing antibodies exhibit greater, but variable, extents of cross-reactivity among vertebrate species. The most highly cross-reactive antibody recognizes a unique epitope on a 165-180 kDa catalytic polypeptide in cell lysates from several eukaryotic sources, as distant from man as the amphibians. Genomic Southern hybridization studies with the cDNA of the human DNA polymerase alpha catalytic polypeptide identify the existence of many consensus DNA sequences within the DNA polymerase genes of vertebrate, invertebrate, plant and unicellular organisms. These findings illustrate the differential evolutionary conservation of four unique epitopes on DNA polymerase alpha among vertebrates and the conservation of specific genetic sequences, presumably reflective of critical functional domains, in the DNA polymerase genes from a broad diversity of living forms.

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