Dehydroaltenusin, a mammalian DNA polymerase alpha inhibitor

J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 27;275(43):33957-61. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M006096200.


Dehydroaltenusin was found to be an inhibitor of mammalian DNA polymerase alpha (pol alpha) in vitro. Surprisingly, among the polymerases and DNA metabolic enzymes tested, dehydroaltenusin inhibited only mammalian pol alpha. Dehydroaltenusin did not influence the activities of the other replicative DNA polymerases, such as delta and epsilon; it also showed no effect even on the pol alpha activity from another vertebrate (fish) or plant species. The inhibitory effect of dehydroaltenusin on mammalian pol alpha was dose-dependent, and 50% inhibition was observed at a concentration of 0.5 microm. Dehydroaltenusin-induced inhibition of mammalian pol alpha activity was competitive with the template-primer and non-competitive with the dNTP substrate. BIAcore analysis demonstrated that dehydroaltenusin bound to the core domain of the largest subunit, p180, of mouse pol alpha, which has catalytic activity, but did not bind to the smallest subunit or the DNA primase p46 of mouse pol alpha. These results suggest that the dehydroaltenusin molecule competes with the template-primer molecule on its binding site of the catalytic domain of mammalian pol alpha, binds to the site, and simultaneously disturbs dNTP substrate incorporation into the template-primer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzopyrans / isolation & purification
  • Benzopyrans / pharmacology*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase I / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Protein Subunits


  • Benzopyrans
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Protein Subunits
  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • dehydroaltenusin