DNA primase from KB cells. Characterization of a primase activity tightly associated with immunoaffinity-purified DNA polymerase-alpha.

Abstract:

A very highly purified fraction of KB cell DNA polymerase-alpha, prepared with a monoclonal antibody, contains DNA primase activity. The primase synthesizes oligonucleotide chains initiated with ATP in a reaction that is resistant to alpha-amanitin and strictly dependent on added template and ribonucleoside triphosphates (rNTPs). In the presence of added dNTPs and M13 DNA template, the primase produces a uniform population of oligoribonucleotides, predominantly hexamers to decamers, that are extended by polymerase-alpha into DNA chains up to 3000 nucleotides long. There is no evidence for nucleotide preferences at RNA/DNA junctions. In the absence of added dNTPs, the oligomeric products are heterogeneous in size and composition and susceptible to cleavage by pancreatic DNase I due to their content of short oligodeoxynucleotide tracts synthesized by primase from trace contaminant dNTPs in the rNTP substrates. The primase and polymerase-alpha activities are distinguishable by several physical and chemical criteria, and the primase reaction is only partially sensitive to two potent, independent monoclonal antibodies that neutralize polymerase-alpha. Although the presence of both primase and polymerase-alpha activities in a highly purified immune complex prepared with a monoclonal antibody argues for their tight physical association, the chemical, physical, and immunological discriminations indicate the two catalytic entities are functionally and structurally distinct.

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