Bacteriophage T4 RNase H removes both RNA primers and adjacent DNA from the 5' end of lagging strand fragments.


Bacteriophage T4 RNase H belongs to a family of prokaryotic and eukaryotic nucleases that remove RNA primers from lagging strand fragments during DNA replication. Each enzyme has a flap endonuclease activity, cutting at or near the junction between single- and double-stranded DNA, and a 5'- to 3'-exonuclease, degrading both RNA.DNA and DNA.DNA duplexes. On model substrates for lagging strand synthesis, T4 RNase H functions as an exonuclease removing short oligonucleotides, rather than as an endonuclease removing longer flaps created by the advancing polymerase. The combined length of the DNA oligonucleotides released from each fragment ranges from 3 to 30 nucleotides, which corresponds to one round of processive degradation by T4 RNase H with 32 single-stranded DNA-binding protein present. Approximately 30 nucleotides are removed from each fragment during coupled leading and lagging strand synthesis with the complete T4 replication system. We conclude that the presence of 32 protein on the single-stranded DNA between lagging strand fragments guarantees that the nuclease will degrade processively, removing adjacent DNA as well as the RNA primers, and that the difference in the relative rates of synthesis and hydrolysis ensures that there is usually only a single round of degradation during each lagging strand cycle.



Accessory Proteins/Complexes, Nucleotide Incorporation, Enzyme Substrate Interactions, RNase H Activity


new topics/pols set partial results complete validated


Polymerase Reference Property Result Context
T4 Bhagwat M2001 RNase H Yes
T4 D219A Bhagwat M2001 RNase H Yes

Entry validated by:

Log in to edit reference All References

Using Polbase tables:


Tables may be sorted by clicking on any of the column titles. A second click reverses the sort order. <Ctrl> + click on the column titles to sort by more than one column (e.g. family then name).


It is also possible to filter the table by typing into the search box above the table. This will instantly hide lines from the table that do not contain your search text.