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J Virol. 1982 Aug;43(2):673-8.

Genetic evidence for vaccinia virus-encoded DNA polymerase: isolation of phosphonoacetate-resistant enzyme from the cytoplasm of cells infected with mutant virus.


Phosphonoacetate (PAA), at concentrations of 200 micrograms/ml or more, prevented growth of vaccinia virus in HeLa and BSC-1 cells. Spontaneous vaccinia virus mutants, selected at high PAA levels, were resistant to the antiviral effects of the drug. The action of PAA was directed toward an early viral function, since the drug was inhibitory only during the first 4 h of the approximately 15-h growth cycle. Conversely, significant reversal of the antiviral effects was obtained only when the drug was removed at or before the fourth hour of infection. Incorporation of [3H]thymidine into cytoplasmic viral DNA was severely inhibited in cells infected with wild-type virus but not in cells infected with mutant virus. Virus-induced DNA polymerase isolated from the cytoplasm of cells infected with wild-type or mutant virus had indistinguishable chromatographic properties on DEAE-cellulose and phosphocellulose columns. However, the wild-type enzyme was inhibited by relatively low concentrations of PAA, whereas 10-fold higher concentrations were needed for equivalent inhibition of the mutant enzyme. Kinetic analysis indicated that PAA inhibition was noncompetitive with deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates; Ki values for wild-type and mutant DNA polymerases were approximately 25 and 300 microM, respectively. Inhibition of wild-type DNA polymerase was immediate and complete even when PAA was added after initiation of DNA synthesis in vitro, suggesting that chain elongation was affected. These results established that the DNA polymerase is a target of the antiviral action of PAA and provided genetic evidence that this enzyme is virus encoded.

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