Production of recombinant human DNA polymerase delta in a Bombyx mori bioreactor

PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22224. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022224. Epub 2011 Jul 15.


Eukaryotic DNA polymerase δ (pol δ) plays a crucial role in chromosomal DNA replication and various DNA repair processes. It is thought to consist of p125, p66 (p68), p50 and p12 subunits. However, rigorous isolation of mammalian pol δ from natural sources has usually yielded two-subunit preparations containing only p125 and p50 polypeptides. While recombinant pol δ isolated from infected insect cells have some problems of consistency in the quality of the preparations, and the yields are much lower. To address these deficiencies, we have constructed recombinant BmNPV baculoviruses using MultiBac system. This method makes the generation of recombinant forms of pol δ containing mutations in any one of the subunits or combinations thereof extremely facile. From about 350 infected larvae, we obtained as much as 4 mg of pol δ four-subunit complex. Highly purified enzyme behaved like the one of native form by rigorous characterization and comparison of its activities on poly(dA)/oligo(dT) template-primer and singly primed M13 DNA, and its homogeneity on FPLC gel filtration. In vitro base excision repair (BER) assays showed that pol δ plays a significant role in uracil-intiated BER and is more likely to mediate LP BER, while the trimer lacking p12 is more likely to mediate SN BER. It seems likely that loss of p12 modulates the rate of SN BER and LP BER during the repair process. Thus, this work provides a simple, fast, reliable and economic way for the large-scale production of human DNA polymerase δ with a high activity and purity, setting up a new platform for our further research on the biochemical properties of pol δ, its regulation and the integration of its functions, and how alterations in pol δ function could contribute to the etiology of human cancer or other diseases that can result from loss of genomic stability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Baculoviridae / genetics
  • Bioreactors*
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Bombyx / metabolism*
  • Bombyx / virology
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • DNA Polymerase III / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Polymerase III / isolation & purification
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hemolymph / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Larva / virology
  • Molecular Weight
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Protein Subunits
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • DNA Polymerase III