Further characterization of a DNA polymerase activity in mouse sperm nuclei.

Abstract:

The presence of a nuclear DNA polymerase in mouse sperm from adult testes has been confirmed and the properties of this enzyme further investigated. This activity was shown to be greatly enhanced by treating the spermatozoa with methanol or ethanol before incubation in the reaction medium or by their addition in small amounts to this medium. It was protected against degradation by nuclear proteases by adding soybean trypsin inhibitor and was stimulated by ATP. It was found to be Mg2+ dependent (optimum concentration: 7.5 mM), DNA dependent, and all four deoxynucleoside triphosphates were needed for optimal reaction. The radioactive acid-precipitable product of polymerization was not eliminated by organic solvents, nor by pronase, ribonuclease or by nuclease S1; however, it was converted to a large extent to acid-soluble products by pancreatic deoxyribonuclease. Since it was only partially solubilized by Triton X-100, it therefore did not appear to be preferentially associated with the nuclear membranes. The activity recovered after incubation depended also on the pH (optimum at pH 8.3) and did not work well in a medium for DNA polymerase alpha. The temperature for maximum incorporation of nucleotides was found to be 32 degrees C and, under our conditions, the reaction was linear for 30 min. The DNA polymerase activity was inhibited by low and high concentrations of KCl. It was not lowered by N-ethylmaleimide or p-hydroxymercuribenzoate; urea slightly stimulated the reaction and this stimulation was reversed by subsequent treatment with N-ethylmaleimide. Actinomycin D (40 mug/ml), ethidium bromide (25--50 muM), netropsin (5--50 mug/ml), and spermidine (0.5--2.5 mM) lowered the polymerization of DNA precursors. The nuclear enzyme could shift from the endogenous template to activated exogenous calf thymus DNA, the resulting nuclear radioactivity being reduced. The endogenous DNP template ability was not increased by deoxyribonuclease activation according to the method of Aposhian and Kornberg (J. Biol. Chem. (1962) 237, 519--525) suggesting that the amount of DNA polymerase associated with chromatin was probably limiting the reaction. The DNA polymerase activity detected in mouse sperm nuclei has numerous properties of low molecular weight DNA polymerases (DNA polymerase beta) reported in several eukaryotic organisms.

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