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Cell. 1982 Aug;30(1):93-101.

DNA synthesis in a cell-free system from Xenopus eggs: priming and elongation on single-stranded DNA in vitro.


We describe a eucaryotic in vitro system for DNA replication derived from Xenopus eggs. In this system, priming and elongation of DNA chains occurs with unusually high efficiency on single-stranded circular DNA templates. Up to 1.5 micrograms M13 DNA can be converted to a completely double-stranded form by 100 microliters egg extract in 1 hr at 22 degrees C, a rate of synthesis comparable with the fastest rates of chromosomal DNA synthesis in early embryogenesis. Initiation of DNA synthesis on double-stranded circular DNA templates was undetectable however. The enzymatic events responsible for complementary-strand synthesis in vitro resemble those presumed to act at the lagging strand of the eucaryotic replication fork in vivo in three ways. First, inhibitor studies indicate that DNA polymerase alpha is required. Second, priming of DNA synthesis by oligoribonucleotides is strongly supported by the complete dependence on ribonucleoside triphosphates in the assay, and the detection of an oligoribonucleotide terminus of 9 or possibly 10 nucleotides associated with nascent DNA chains. Third, the priming reaction is resistant to alpha-amanitin.

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