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J Mol Biol. 2000 Nov 17;304(1):1-9.

Phage phi 29 DNA polymerase residues involved in the proper stabilisation of the primer-terminus at the 3'-5' exonuclease active site.

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Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa", Cantoblanco, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049, Spain.


Three highly conserved amino acid residues have been characterised here as ssDNA ligands at the 3'-5' exonuclease active site of o29 DNA polymerase. The functional role of Tyr59, His61 and Phe69 residues of o29 DNA polymerase (belonging to Exo II motif, previously described as containing an invariant catalytic aspartate residue and two highly conserved ssDNA ligands) was assayed by biochemical analysis of six site-directed mutants at those residues. These studies revealed that the mutations introduced severely affected their ssDNA binding capacity and, as a consequence, the 3'-5' exonuclease activity on ssDNA substrates was also severely impaired, producing drastic defects in the maintenance of replication fidelity. Crystal structures of Klenow fragment of Pol Ik and Thermococcus gorgonarius DNA polymerase complexed with ssDNA at their 3'-5' exonuclease active sites revealed that residues Gln419 of the former, and Tyr209 of the latter, the counterparts of His61 of o29 DNA polymerase, are making contacts with the penultimate phosphodiester bond of ssDNA substrate. Here, the functional role of this residue is described.

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