Isolation of a herpesvirus-specific DNA polymerase from tissues of an American patient with Burkitt lymphoma

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Sep;75(9):4504-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.75.9.4504.


A DNA polymerase (DNA nucleotidyltransferase) has been partially purified from a neck mass of an American patient with Burkitt lymphoma and separated from the cellular DNA polymerases. The molecular weight of the enzyme was approximately 90,000. The enzyme differs from the cellular DNA polymerases, but resembles herpes-virus-induced DNA polymerase in its primer template preference, high monovalent cation requirement for activity, and sensitivity to phosphonoacetate. Enzyme activity was inhibited specifically by an antibody directed against herpes-simplex-virus-induced DNA polymerase but not by antibodies directed against DNA polymerase alpha of HeLa cells and DNA polymerase gamma of a normal human lymphoblast cell line, NC37. Although serum of the patient with Burkitt lymphoma contained high Epstein-Barr virus titer, addition of the serum to the assay mixture did not have any effect on the activity of Burkitt lymphoma DNA polymerase. Tissues from spleen and liver of the patient with Burkitt lymphoma did not contain the herpes-virus-induced DNA polymerase. Detection of the herpes virus polymerase in the Burkitt lymphoma tissue provides additional evidence for the association of Epstein-Barr virus with this malignancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / blood
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / microbiology*
  • Cations, Monovalent / pharmacology
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Ethylmaleimide / pharmacology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / pharmacology
  • Simplexvirus / enzymology*


  • Cations, Monovalent
  • Deoxyribonucleotides
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid
  • Ethylmaleimide