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J Biol Chem. 1982 Jul 10;257(13):7689-92.

Template-prime-dependent turnover of (Sp)-dATP alpha S by T4 DNA polymerase. The stereochemistry of the associated 3' goes to 5'-exonuclease.


T4 DNA polymerase converts (Sp)-2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-O-(1-thio[1-18O2]triphosphate) to 2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-O-[18O]-phosphorothioate in the presence of poly(d(A-T).poly(d(A-T)) template-primer. Control experiments involving either omitting the poly(d(A-T)).poly(d(A-T) template-primer or employing the (Rp)-2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-O-(1-thiotriphosphate) diastereomer showed no reaction. It is assumed, therefore, that this conversion as in the P--O case involves incorporation of the thionucleotide into the poly(d(A-T)) followed by hydrolysis resulting from the 3' goes to 5'-exonuclease activity. The 2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-O-[18O] phosphorothioate was converted to (Sp)-2'-deoxyadenosine 5'-O-(1-thio[1-18O]triphosphate), with no change in the configuration at P alpha by using the coupled adenylate kinase-pyruvate kinase enzyme system. A 31P NMR spectrum of the product showed that the 18O was entirely in the nonbridging position, indicating an overall retention in the net turnover process (i.e. incorporation followed by excision). Since the incorporation process involves an inversion of configuration around the phosphorus (Romaniuk, P. J., and Eckstein, F. (1982) J. Biol. Chem. 257, 7684-7688), it must be inferred that the 3' goes to 5'-exonuclease activity of T4 polymerase proceeds with inversion of configuration at the phosphorus atom, most simply via a direct displacement mechanism. This finding represents the first example of phosphodiester hydrolysis catalyzed by an exonuclease that does not involve a covalent phosphoryl-enzyme intermediate (Knowles, J. R. (1980) Annu. Rev. Biochem. 49, 877-919).

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