The 3' to 5' exonuclease activity located in the DNA polymerase delta subunit of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is required for accurate replication

EMBO J. 1991 Aug;10(8):2165-70. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1991.tb07751.x.


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, DNA polymerase delta (POLIII), the product of the CDC2 (POL3) gene, possesses, in its N-terminal half, the well conserved 3-domain 3' to 5' exonuclease site. Strains selectively mutagenized in this site display a mutator phenotype detected as a drastically increased spontaneous forward mutation rate to canavanine resistance or as an elevated reversion rate to lysine prototrophy. Assays on a partially purified extract of the mutant giving the largest mutator effect indicate that the 3' to 5' exonuclease activity is reduced below the detection limit whereas the DNA polymerizing activity has wild-type level. Therefore, our results provide experimental support for the hypothesis that the exonucleolytic proofreading activity associated with DNA polymerase delta resides on the DNA polymerase delta subunit and enhances the fidelity of DNA replication in yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Fungal / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Exonucleases / metabolism*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Plasmids
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics


  • DNA, Fungal
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Exonucleases