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Biochemistry. 1990 Jun 5;29(22):5226-31.

Hydrolysis of 3'-terminal mispairs in vitro by the 3'----5' exonuclease of DNA polymerase delta permits subsequent extension by DNA polymerase alpha.

Author information

1
Joseph Gottstein Memorial Cancer Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.

Abstract

Purified DNA polymerase alpha, the major replicating enzyme found in mammalian cells, lacks an associated 3'----5' proofreading exonuclease that, in bacteria, contributes significantly to the accuracy of DNA replication. Calf thymus DNA polymerase alpha cannot remove mispaired 3'-termini, nor can it extend them efficiently. We designed a biochemical assay to search in cell extracts for a putative proofreading exonuclease that might function in concert with DNA polymerase alpha in vivo but dissociates from it during purification. Using this assay, we purified a 3'----5' exonuclease from calf thymus that preferentially hydrolyzes mispaired 3'-termini, permitting subsequent extension of the correctly paired 3'-terminus by DNA polymerase alpha. This exonuclease copurifies with a DNA polymerase activity that is biochemically distinct from DNA polymerase alpha and exhibits characteristics described for a second replicative DNA polymerase, DNA polymerase delta. In related studies, we showed that the 3'----5' exonuclease of authentic DNA polymerase delta, like the purified exonuclease, removes terminal mispairs, allowing extension by DNA polymerase alpha. These data suggest that a single proofreading exonuclease could be shared by DNA polymerases alpha and delta, functioning at the site of DNA replication in mammalian cells.

PMID:
2166556
DOI:
10.1021/bi00474a002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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