Proof-reading 3'-->5' exonucleases isolated from rat liver nuclei.

Abstract:

Mammalian nuclear DNA polymerases alpha and beta are known to be devoid of the editing 3'-->5' exonucleolytic activity. Presumably this activity could be effected by the exonucleases non-associated covalently with DNA polymerases. Two 3'-->5' exonucleases of 40 kDa and 50 kDa (exo-40 and exo-5) have been isolated from rat liver nuclei and purified to near homogeneity. They are shown to excise mismatched nucleotides from poly[d(A-T)] template, respectively, 10-fold and 2-fold faster than the matched ones. Upon addition of either of these exonucleases to the DNA polymerase alpha from rat liver or calf thymus, the fidelity of in-vitro reproduction of the primed DNA from bacteriophage phi X174 amber 3 is increased 5-10-fold, levels of exonuclease and DNA-polymerase activities being similar. Extrapolation of in-vitro DNA-replication fidelity to the cellular levels of activities of the exonucleases and the alpha-polymerase suggests that exonucleolytic proof-reading augments the accuracy of DNA synthesis by 2-3 orders of magnitude.

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