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Molecular and cellular biology

Requirement of Watson-Crick hydrogen bonding for DNA synthesis by yeast DNA polymerase eta.


PMID 12832493

Abstract

Classical high-fidelity DNA polymerases discriminate between the correct and incorrect nucleotides by using geometric constraints imposed by the tight fit of the active site with the incipient base pair. Consequently, Watson-Crick (W-C) hydrogen bonding between the bases is not required for the efficiency and accuracy of DNA synthesis by these polymerases. DNA polymerase eta (Poleta) is a low-fidelity enzyme able to replicate through DNA lesions. Using difluorotoluene, a nonpolar isosteric analog of thymine unable to form W-C hydrogen bonds with adenine, we found that the efficiency and accuracy of nucleotide incorporation by Poleta are severely impaired. From these observations, we suggest that W-C hydrogen bonding is required for DNA synthesis by Poleta; in this regard, Poleta differs strikingly from classical high-fidelity DNA polymerases.

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