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Journal of virology

Purification of host cell enzymes involved in adeno-associated virus DNA replication.


PMID 17360744

Abstract

Adeno-associated virus (AAV) replicates its DNA by a modified rolling-circle mechanism that exclusively uses leading strand displacement synthesis. To identify the enzymes directly involved in AAV DNA replication, we fractionated adenovirus-infected crude extracts and tested them in an in vitro replication system that required the presence of the AAV-encoded Rep protein and the AAV origins of DNA replication, thus faithfully reproducing in vivo viral DNA replication. Fractions that contained replication factor C (RFC) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) were found to be essential for reconstituting AAV DNA replication. These could be replaced by purified PCNA and RFC to retain full activity. We also found that fractions containing polymerase delta, but not polymerase epsilon or alpha, were capable of replicating AAV DNA in vitro. This was confirmed when highly purified polymerase delta complex purified from baculovirus expression clones was used. Curiously, as the components of the DNA replication system were purified, neither the cellular single-stranded DNA binding protein (RPA) nor the adenovirus-encoded DNA binding protein was found to be essential for DNA replication; both only modestly stimulated DNA synthesis on an AAV template. Also, in addition to polymerase delta, RFC, and PCNA, an as yet unidentified factor(s) is required for AAV DNA replication, which appeared to be enriched in adenovirus-infected cells. Finally, the absence of any apparent cellular DNA helicase requirement led us to develop an artificial AAV replication system in which polymerase delta, RFC, and PCNA were replaced with T4 DNA polymerase and gp32 protein. This system was capable of supporting AAV DNA replication, demonstrating that under some conditions the Rep helicase activity can function to unwind duplex DNA during strand displacement synthesis.

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