Stereospecificity of human DNA polymerases alpha, beta, gamma, delta and epsilon, HIV-reverse transcriptase, HSV-1 DNA polymerase, calf thymus terminal transferase and Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I in recognizing D- and L-thymidine 5'-triphosphate as substrate.


L-beta-Deoxythymidine (L-dT), the optical enantiomer of D-beta-deoxythymidine (D-dT), and L-enantiomers of nucleoside analogs, such as 5-iodo-2'-deoxy-L-uridine (L-IdU) and E-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxy-L-uridine (L-BVdU), are not recognized in vitro by human cytosolic thymidine kinase (TK), but are phosphorylated by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) TK and inhibit HSV-1 proliferation in infected cells. Here we report that: (i) L-dT is selectively phosphorylated in vivo to L-dTMP by HSV-1 TK and L-dTMP is further phosphorylated to the di- and triphosphate forms by non-stereospecific cellular kinases; (ii) L-dTTP not only inhibits HSV-1 DNA polymerase in vitro, but also human DNA polymerase alpha, gamma, delta and epsilon, human immunodeficiency virus reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT), Escherichia coli DNA polymerase 1 and calf thymus terminal transferase, although DNA polymerase beta was resistant; (iii) whereas DNA polymerase beta, gamma, delta and epsilon are unable to utilize L-dTTP as a substrate, the other DNA polymerases clearly incorporate at least one L-dTMP residue, with DNA polymerase alpha and HIV-1 RT able to further elongate the DNA chain by catalyzing the formation of the phosphodiester bond between the incorporated L-dTMP and an incoming L-dTTP; (iv) incorporated L-nucleotides at the 3'-OH terminus make DNA more resistant to 3'-->5' exonucleases. In conclusion, our results suggest a possible mechanism for the inhibition of viral proliferation by L-nucleosides.




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