Loop II of DNA polymerase beta is important for polymerization activity and fidelity

Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(9):2924-35. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkm126. Epub 2007 Apr 16.


The accurate replication and transmission of genetic information is critical in the life of an organism. During its entire lifespan, the genetic information is constantly under attack from endogenous and exogenous sources of damage. To ensure that the content of its genetic information is faithfully preserved for synthesis and transmission, eukaryotic cells have developed a complex system of genomic quality control. Key players in this process are DNA polymerases, the enzymes responsible for synthesizing the DNA, because errors introduced into the genome by polymerase can result in mutations. We use DNA polymerase beta (pol beta) as a model system to investigate mechanisms of preserving fidelity during nucleotide incorporation. In the study described here, we characterized the role that loop II of pol beta plays in maintaining the activity and fidelity of pol beta. We report here that the absence or shortening of loop II compromises the catalytic activity of pol beta. Our data also show that loop variants of a specific length have a lower fidelity when compared to the wild-type polymerase. Taken together, our results indicate that loop II is important for the catalytic activity and fidelity of pol beta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalysis
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Polymerase beta / chemistry*
  • DNA Polymerase beta / genetics
  • DNA Polymerase beta / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype


  • DNA
  • DNA Polymerase beta