Enzymatic activities associated with avian and murine retroviral DNA polymerases. Catalysis of and active site involvement in pyrophosphate exchange and pyrophosphorolysis reactions.

Abstract:

Reverse transcriptase isolated from avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV) and Rauscher murine leukemia virus (RLV) were examined for their ability to catalyze polymerization, ribonuclease H, pyrophosphate exchange, and pyrophosphorolysis reactions. A detailed characterization and a study of requirements for the expression of pyrophosphate exchange and pyrophosphorolysis reactions indicated that a variety of RNA and DNA template-primers supported these catalytic reactions. Furthermore, hydrogen bonding of template to primer was essential, although RNA:RNA template-primers, e.g. poly(rA) . (rU)9 or 70 S RNA . tRNA complex, were not utilized for these reactions. AMV enzyme required Mg2+, and RLV enzyme Mn2+, as the preferred divalent metal ion for the expression of these activities. Response of various catalytic reactions to site-specific inhibitors revealed that polymerization and pyrophosphate exchange reactions were susceptible to reagents that affected either the substrate or the template binding site, intrinsic zinc, or sulfhydryl groups. RNase H and pyrophosphorolysis activities, on the other hand, exhibited susceptibility only to the template site-specific reagent. We, therefore, conclude that RNase H and pyrophosphorolysis reactions are catalyzed through the template binding site while polymerization and pyrophosphate exchange reactions require additional participation of the substrate binding site, as well as that of intrinsic zinc and the presence of reactive sulfhydryl groups.

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