Mammalian DNA polymerase alpha holoenzymes with possible functions at the leading and lagging strand of the replication fork.

Abstract:

At an early purification stage, DNA polymerase alpha holoenzyme from calf thymus can be separated into four different forms by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose. All four enzyme forms (termed A, B, C, and D) are capable of replicating long single-stranded DNA templates, such as parvoviral DNA or primed M13 DNA. Peak A possesses, in addition to the DNA polymerase alpha, a double-stranded DNA-dependent ATPase, as well as DNA topoisomerase type II, 3'-5' exonuclease, and RNase H activity. Peaks B, C, and D all contain, together with DNA polymerase alpha, activities of primase and DNA topoisomerase type II. Furthermore, peak B is enriched in an RNase H, and peaks C and D are enriched in a 3'-5' exonuclease. DNA methylase (DNA methyltransferase) was preferentially identified in peaks C and D. Velocity sedimentation analyses of the four peaks gave evidence of unexpectedly large forms of DNA polymerase alpha (greater than 11.3 s), indicating that copurification of the above putative replication enzymes is not fortuitous. With moderate and high concentrations of salt, enzyme activities cosedimented with DNA polymerase alpha. Peak C is more resistant to inhibition by salt and spermidine than the other three enzyme forms. These results suggest the existence of a leading strand replicase (peak A) and several lagging strand replicase forms (peaks B, C, and D). Finally, the salt-resistant C form might represent a functional DNA polymerase alpha holoenzyme, possibly fitting in a higher-order structure, such as the replisome or even the chromatin.

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