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EMBO J. 1996 May 15;15(10):2593-603.

Mutational analysis of mammalian poly(A) polymerase identifies a region for primer binding and catalytic domain, homologous to the family X polymerases, and to other nucleotidyltransferases.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


We have tested deletion and substitution mutants of bovine poly(A) polymerase, and have identified a small region that overlaps with a nuclear localization signal and binds to the RNA primer. Systematic mutagenesis of carboxylic amino acids led to the identification of three aspartates that are essential for catalysis. Sequence and secondary structure comparisons of regions surrounding these aspartates with sequences of other polymerases revealed a significant homology to the palm structure of DNA polymerase beta, terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase and DNA polymerase IV of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, all members of the family X of polymerases. This homology extends as far as cca: tRNA nucleotidyltransferase and streptomycin adenylyltransferase, an antibiotic resistance factor.

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