Deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase III of Escherichia coli. Purification and properties

J Biol Chem. 1975 Jan 25;250(2):461-9.


DNA polymerase III has been purified 4,500-fold from the Escherichis coli mutant, HMS83, which lacks DNA polymerases I and II. When subjected to disc gel electrophoresis, the most purified fraction exhibits a single major protein band from which enzymatic activity may be recovered. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions produces two protein bands with molecular weights of 140,000 and 40,000. The sedimentation coefficient of the enzyme is 7.0 S, and the Stokes radius is 62 A. Taken together these tow parameters indicate a native molecular weight of 180,000. Purified DNA polymerase III catalyzes the polymerization of nucleotides into DNA when provided with both a DNA template and a complementary primer strand. The newly synthesized DNA is covalently attached to the 3' terminus of the primer strand. Because the extent of polymerization is only 10 to 100 nucleotides, the best substrates are native DNA molecules with small single-stranded regions. The most purified enzyme preparation is devoid of endonuclease activities. In addition to the two exonuclease activities described in the accompanying paper, purified polymerase III also catalyzes pyrophosphorolysis and the exchange of pyrophosphate into deoxynucleoside triphosphates. DNA polymerase III has also been isolated from wild type E. coli containing the other two known DNA polymerases. Futhermore, the enzyme purified from three different polC mutants exhibits altered polymerase III activity, confirming that polC is the structural gene for DNA polymerase III (Gefter, M., Hirota, Y., Kornberb, T., Wechsler, J., and Barnoux, C. (1971) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 68, 3150-3153).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Chromatography
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / isolation & purification*
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Disc
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Molecular Weight
  • Protein Conformation
  • Streptomycin
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Templates, Genetic


  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Magnesium
  • Streptomycin