Molecular cloning and expression during development of the Drosophila gene for the catalytic subunit of DNA polymerase epsilon.


We have cloned the genomic DNA and cDNA of Drosophila DNA polymerase epsilon (pol-epsilon) catalytic subunit (GenBank No. AB035512). The gene is separated into four exons by three short introns, and the open reading frame consists of 6660 base pairs (bp) capable of encoding a polypeptide of 2220 amino acid residues. The calculated molecular mass is 255018, similar to that of mammalian and yeast homologues. The deduced amino acid sequence of the pol-epsilon catalytic subunit shares approximately 41% identity with human and mouse homologues as well as significant homology those of C. elegans, S. cerevisiae and S. pombe. Similar to the pol-epsilon catalytic subunits from other species, the pol-epsilon catalytic subunit contains domains for DNA polymerization and 3'-5' exonuclease in the N-terminal region, and two potential zinc-finger domains in the C-terminal regions. Interestingly, a 38 amino acid sequence in the C-terminal region from amino acid positions 1823 to 1861 is similar to the site for Mycoplasma ATP binding and/or ATPase domain (GenBank No. P47365). Northern hybridization analysis indicated that the gene is expressed at the highest levels in unfertilized eggs, followed by zero to 4h embryos and adult females, and then embryos at other embryonic stages, instar larva stages and adult males. Low levels of the mRNA were also detected at the pupa stage. This pattern of expression is similar to those of DNA replication-related enzymes such as DNA polymerase alpha and delta except for the high level of expression in adult males.




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