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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2009 Aug;297(2):180-8.

Characterization of intein homing endonuclease encoded in the DNA polymerase gene of Thermococcus marinus.

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Department of Genetic Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Korea.


The DNA polymerase gene of Thermococcus marinus (Tma) contains an intein inserted at the pol-b site that possesses a 1611-bp ORF encoding a 537-amino acid residue. The LAGLIDADG motif, often found in site-specific DNA endonucleases, was detected within the amino acid sequence of the intein. The intein endonuclease, denoted as PI-Tma, was purified as a naturally spliced product from the expression of the complete DNA polymerase gene in Escherichia coli. PI-Tma cleaved intein-less DNA sequences, leaving four-base-long, 3'-hydroxyl overhangs with 5'-phosphate. Nonpalindromic recognition sequences 19 bp long were also identified using partially complementary oligonucleotide pair sequences inserted into the plasmid pET-22b(+). Cleavage by PI-Tma was optimal when present in 50mM glycine-NaOH (pH 10.5), 150mM KCl and 12mM MgCl(2) at 70 degrees C.

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