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Biochemistry. 1994 May 3;33(17):5335-46.

Kinetic analysis of the coding properties of O6-methylguanine in DNA: the crucial role of the conformation of the phosphodiester bond.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


Production by N-nitroso compounds of O6-alkylguanine (O6-alkylG) in DNA directs the misincorporation of thymine during DNA replication, leading to G:C to A:T transition mutations, despite the fact that DNA containing O6-alkylG:T base pairs is less stable than that containing O6-alkylG:C pairs. We have examined the kinetics of incorporation by Klenow fragment (KF) of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I of thymine (T) and of cytosine (C) opposite O6-MeG in the template DNA strand. Both T and C were incorporated opposite O6-MeG much slower than nucleotides forming regular A:T or G:C base pairs. Using various concentrations of dTTP, dCTP, or their phosphorothioate (Sp)-dNTP alpha S analogues, or a mixture of dTTP and dCTP, the progress of incorporation of a single nucleotide in a single catalytic cycle of a preformed KF-DNA complex was measured (pre-steady-state kinetics). The results were consistent with the kinetic scheme (Kuchta, R. D., Benkovic, P., & Benkovic, S. J. (1988) Biochemistry 27, 6716-6725): (1) binding of dNTP to polymerase-DNA; (2) conformational change in polymerase; (3) formation of phosphodiester between the dNTP and the 3'-OH of the primer; (4) conformational change of polymerase; (5) release of pyrophosphate. The results were analyzed mathematically to identify the steps at which the rate constants differ significantly between the incorporation of T and C. The only significant difference was the 5-fold difference in the rates of formation of the phosphodiester bond (for dTTP, kforward = 3.9 s-1 and kback = 1.9 s-1; for dCTP, kforward = 0.7 s-1 and kback = 0.9 s-1). These pre-steady-state progress curves were biphasic with a rapid initial burst followed by an apparently steady-state rise. Deconvolution of these curves gave direct evidence for the importance of the conformational change after polymerization by showing that the curves represented the sum of the rapid accumulation of the product of step 3 followed by the slow conversion of that to the product of step 5 (because of the rapidity of the release of pyrophosphate there was no significant accumulation of the product of step 4). The equilibrium constants for each step suggest that the greatest change in the Gibbs free energy occurs at the conformational change after polymerization and that while the formation of the phosphodiester bond to T is slightly exothermic, that to C is slightly endothermic.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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