Domain structure of the Moloney murine leukemia virus reverse transcriptase: mutational analysis and separate expression of the DNA polymerase and RNase H activities

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Mar;85(6):1777-81. doi: 10.1073/pnas.85.6.1777.


The reverse transcriptase of Moloney murine leukemia virus, like that of all retroviruses, exhibits a DNA polymerase activity capable of synthesis on RNA or DNA templates and an RNase H activity with specificity for RNA in the form of an RNA.DNA hybrid. We have generated a library of linker insertion mutants of the Moloney murine leukemia virus enzyme expressed in bacteria and assayed these mutants for both enzymatic activities. Those mutations affecting the DNA polymerase activity were clustered in the 5'-proximal two-thirds of the gene, and those affecting RNase H were in the remaining 3' one-third. Based on these maps, plasmids were made that expressed each one of the domains separately; assays of the proteins encoded by these plasmids showed that each domain exhibited only the expected activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Endoribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Moloney murine leukemia virus / enzymology*
  • Mutation
  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / analysis*
  • Ribonuclease H


  • RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Endoribonucleases
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI
  • endodeoxyribonuclease AluI
  • endodeoxyribonuclease MnlI
  • Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific
  • GGCC-specific type II deoxyribonucleases
  • Ribonuclease H