Three basic regions in adenovirus DNA polymerase interact differentially depending on the protein context to function as bipartite nuclear localization signals

New Biol. 1991 Nov;3(11):1074-88.


Adenovirus DNA polymerase (AdPol) contains three clusters of basic amino acids within the N-terminal 48 amino acids: RARR, which begins at amino acid 8, RRRVR, which begins at amino acid 25, and RARRRR, which begins at amino acid 41. These clusters are designated BS I, BS II, and BS III, respectively. (The amino acid codes are: R, arginine; A, alanine; V, valine.) Mutational analysis of these noncontiguous clusters showed that AdPol contains a novel organization of bipartite nuclear localization signals (NLS) that interact differentially to serve in the nuclear targeting of AdPol or of chimeric proteins in which AdPol is linked to Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase (beta-gal). The region containing BS I and BS II functioned interdependently as an NLS for the nuclear targeting of AdPol, for which BS III was dispensible. However, the region containing BS II and BS III constituted a second and more efficient bipartite NLS for the nuclear targeting of the AdPol-E. coli beta-gal fusion protein. Moreover, deletion or limited insertion of amino acids in the spacer region between BS II and BS III did not affect their nuclear targeting function for these fusion proteins. Chou-Fasman predictive analysis of protein secondary structure in the vicinity of the bipartite NLS sequences supports a model in which protein conformation in the spacer region may play an important role in bringing these clusters of basic amino acids into close proximity, allowing them to function as nuclear targeting signals for this class of nuclear proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / enzymology*
  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Transfection
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • beta-Galactosidase