Metal binding to DNA polymerase I, its large fragment, and two 3',5'-exonuclease mutants of the large fragment

J Biol Chem. 1990 Aug 25;265(24):14327-34.


DNA polymerase I (Pol I) is an enzyme of DNA replication and repair containing three active sites, each requiring divalent metal ions such as Mg2+ or Mn2+ for activity. As determined by EPR and by 1/T1 measurements of water protons, whole Pol I binds Mn2+ at one tight site (KD = 2.5 microM) and approximately 20 weak sites (KD = 600 microM). All bound metal ions retain one or more water ligands as reflected in enhanced paramagnetic effects of Mn2+ on 1/T1 of water protons. The cloned large fragment of Pol I, which lacks the 5',3'-exonuclease domain, retains the tight metal binding site with little or no change in its affinity for Mn2+, but has lost approximately 12 weak sites (n = 8, KD = 1000 microM). The presence of stoichiometric TMP creates a second tight Mn2+ binding site or tightens a weak site 100-fold. dGTP together with TMP creates a third tight Mn2+ binding site or tightens a weak site 166-fold. The D424A (the Asp424 to Ala) 3',5'-exonuclease deficient mutant of the large fragment retains a weakened tight site (KD = 68 microM) and has lost one weak site (n = 7, KD = 3500 microM) in comparison with the wild-type large fragment, and no effect of TMP on metal binding is detected. The D355A, E357A (the Asp355 to Ala, Glu357 to Ala double mutant of the large fragment of Pol I) 3',5'-exonuclease-deficient double mutant has lost the tight metal binding site and four weak metal binding sites. The binding of dGTP to the polymerase active site of the D355A,E357A double mutant creates one tight Mn2+ binding site with a dissociation constant (KD = 3.6 microM), comparable with that found on the wild-type enzyme, which retains one fast exchanging water ligand. Mg2+ competes at this site with a KD of 100 microM. It is concluded that the single tightly bound Mn2+ on Pol I and a weakly bound Mn2+ which is tightened 100-fold by TMP are at the 3',5'-exonuclease active site and are essential for 3',5'-exonuclease activity, but not for polymerase activity. Additional weak Mn2+ binding sites are detected on the 3',5'-exonuclease domain, which may be activating, and on the polymerase domain, which may be inhibitory. The essential divalent metal activator of the polymerase reaction requires the presence of the dNTP substrate for tight metal binding indicating that the bound substrate coordinates the metal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cations, Divalent
  • DNA Polymerase I / genetics
  • DNA Polymerase I / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Exodeoxyribonuclease V
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases / genetics
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods
  • Manganese / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptide Fragments / isolation & purification
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation


  • Cations, Divalent
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Manganese
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases
  • Exodeoxyribonuclease V
  • Magnesium