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Virology. 1992 Sep;190(1):365-77.

In vitro excision and replication of 5' telomeres of minute virus of mice DNA from cloned palindromic concatemer junctions.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


HeLa cell extracts containing wild-type copies of the minute virus of mice NS-1 polypeptide produced from a recombinant vaccinia virus vector could support the excision and replication of viral 5' telomeres from cloned concatemer junction fragments. Resolution did not occur if wild-type NS-1 was omitted from the extract or if the substrate DNA contained palindromic sequences without specific viral resolution sites. In the presence of NS-1, [32P]dGTP incorporation into all templates was slightly increased, but if the template contained specific viral resolution sites DNA synthesis was greatly enhanced, and took two distinct forms: (i) generation of a limited number of high-molecular-weight molecules, probably due to a form of rolling-circle replication, and (ii) synthesis of new DNA at the viral telomeres. Resolution of the junction fragment generated two newly synthesized viral telomeres, each of which was covalently associated with NS-1 and contained a duplex copy of the complex palindrome located around the axis of symmetry of the concatemer junction. Cloned junction fragments of 296 bp or more could be resolved efficiently in vitro, and since NS-1 molecules were left covalently attached to the newly resolved termini, the latter could be partially purified by immuno-precipitation with anti-NS-1 serum. Restriction analysis and further fractionation of the precipitated DNA showed that the in vitro resolution sites were in the predicted positions on either side of the axis of symmetry, and that de novo DNA synthesis was associated predominantly with one of the two daughter strands. Telomeres were generated from both arms of the substrate with equal efficiency, and contained the characteristic "flip" and "flop" sequence inversions observed in vivo. Since a high proportion of termini were associated with adjacent viral sequences that retained the bacterial methylation pattern, in vitro resolution was not dependent upon prior DNA replication proceeding through the entire palindromic insert.

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