On the fidelity of DNA replication. Characterization of polynucleotides with errors in base-pairing synthesized by avian myeloblastosis virus deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase.

Abstract:

Polynucleotide templates were copied by avian myeloblastosis virus DNA polymerase ("reverse transcriptase") and the frequency and distribution of errors were determined. The error rate with [r(pA)2500-d(pT)12-18] template-initiator under a variety of conditions was approximately 1/600, i.e. one incorrect dCMP incorporated for 600 correct dTMP polymerized. Addition of the metal chelator o-phenanthroline to the reaction inhibited the incorporation of correct and incorrect nucleotides proportionately. The enzyme inhibited a pH optimum of 8.5 and the error rate remained constant over a range of pH (6.0 to 10.0). The rate of polymerization was greater at higher temperatures and approximately doubled for every 10 degrees increase. The error rate was constant at all temperatures. These results indicate that the purified avian myeloblastosis virus DNA polymerase synthesizes polydeoxynucleotides with an unusually large number of errors in base-pairing. Velocity sedimentation of the products of the reaction obtained at various times during the course of synthesis indicate that: (a) the entire length of the 14 S template was copied, and (b) the incorporation of the incorrect nucleotide did not terminate chain propagation. Isopyknic banding in neutral and alkaline cesium sulfate gradients showed that the noncomplementary nucleotides are incorporated into the polydeoxynucleotide product. Stepwise degradation and nearest neighbor analysis of the reaction product indicated that (a) the correct and incorrect nucleotides are present in phosphodiester linkages, (b) the errors are not concentrated at either termini; and (c) the errors are uniformly distributed throughout the newly synthesized polydeoxynucleotide.

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