The primase activity of DNA polymerase alpha from calf thymus.

Abstract:

The nearly homogeneous 9 S DNA polymerase alpha from calf thymus contains a primase activity that allows priming of DNA synthesis on single-stranded templates in the presence of ribonucleoside triphosphates. Both on synthetic and natural single-stranded templates, RNA primers of 8-15 nucleotides in length are formed. In the absence of dNTPs, primers of some hundred nucleotides in length are observable. ATP and/or GTP are required for the priming reaction. UTP and CTP cannot initiate the RNA synthesis. M13 single-stranded DNA can be converted to the nicked double helical form upon primase-primed replication by the 9 S enzyme. Priming occurs mostly at specific sites on the M13 genome and replication products of up to 6000 nucleotides in length are formed. In the presence of the single-stranded DNA binding protein from Escherichia coli, specificity of priming is strongly increased. The primase is inhibited by salt and actinomycin; it is insensitive to alpha-amanitin and N-ethylmaleimide. Due to the strong complex formation between DNA polymerase and primase, it has not been possible to separate the two activities of the multisubunit 9 S enzyme.

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