Two Positively Charged Residues of phi29 DNA Polymerase, Conserved in Protein-Primed DNA Polymerases, Are Involved in Stabilisation of the Incoming Nucleotide

J Mol Biol. 2004 Jan 9;335(2):481-94. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2003.10.024.


In DNA polymerases from families A and B in the closed conformation, several positively charged residues, located in pre-motif B and motif B, have been shown to interact with the phosphate groups of the incoming nucleotide at the polymerisation active site: the invariant Lys of motif B and the nearly invariant Lys of pre-motif B (family B) correspond to a His in family A DNA polymerases. In phi29 DNA polymerase, belonging to the family B DNA polymerases able to start replication by protein-priming, the corresponding residues, Lys383 and Lys371, have been shown to be dNTP-ligands. Since in several DNA polymerases a third residue has been involved in dNTP binding, we have addressed here the question if in the DNA polymerases of the protein-primed subfamily, and especially in phi29 DNA polymerase, there are more than these two residues involved in nucleotide binding. By site-directed mutagenesis in phi29 DNA polymerase the functional role of the remaining two conserved positively charged amino acid residues of pre-motif B and motif B (besides Lys371 and Lys383) has been studied. The results indicate that residue Lys379 of motif B is also involved in dNTP binding, possibly through interaction with the triphosphate moiety of the incoming nucleotide, since the affinity for nucleotides of mutant DNA polymerase K379T was reduced in DNA and TP-primed reactions. On the other hand, we propose that, when the terminal protein (TP) is present at the polymerisation active site, residue Lys366 of pre-motif B is involved in stabilising the incoming nucleotide in an appropriate position for efficient TP-deoxynucleotidylation. Although mutant DNA polymerase K366T showed a wild-type like phenotype in DNA-primed polymerisation in the presence of DNA as template, in TP-primed reactions as initiation and transition it was impaired, especially in the presence of the phi29 DBP, protein p6.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / genetics*
  • Bacillus Phages / enzymology*
  • Bacillus Phages / genetics
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Conserved Sequence / genetics
  • DNA Replication / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Nucleotides / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Acids / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Amino Acids
  • Nucleotides
  • Phosphoric Acids
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase