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J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov 20;273(47):31021-31.

Human DNA polymerase beta recognizes single-stranded DNA using two different binding modes.

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Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics, Sealy Center for Structural Biology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas 77555-1053, USA.


Interactions between the human DNA polymerase beta (pol beta) and a single-stranded (ss) DNA have been studied using the quantitative fluorescence titration technique. Examination of the fluorescence increase of the poly(dA) etheno-derivative (poly(depsilonA)) as a function of the binding density of pol beta-nucleic acid complexes reveals the existence of two binding phases. In the first high affinity phase, pol beta forms a complex with a ssDNA in which 16 nucleotides are occluded by the enzyme. In the second phase, transition to a complex where the polymerase occludes only 5 nucleotides occurs. Thus, human pol beta binds a ssDNA in two binding modes, which differ in the number of occluded nucleotide residues. We designate the first complex as (pol beta)16 and the second as (pol beta)5 binding modes. The analyses of the enzyme binding to ssDNA have been performed using statistical thermodynamic models, which account for the existence of the two binding modes of the enzyme, cooperative interactions, and the overlap of potential binding sites. The importance of the discovery that human pol beta binds a ssDNA, using different binding modes, for the possible mechanistic model of the functioning of human pol beta, is discussed.

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