Characterization of the polA gene of Streptococcus pneumoniae and comparison of the DNA polymerase I it encodes to homologous enzymes from Escherichia coli and phage T7

J Biol Chem. 1989 Mar 5;264(7):4255-63.


The DNA sequence of the polA gene of Streptococcus pneumoniae was determined, and the DNA polymerase I encoded by the gene was purified to homogeneity. Determination of the amino-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein showed it to correspond to the Mr 99,487 polypeptide predicted from the nucleotide sequence. The mRNA transcript was mapped with respect to its sites of initiation and termination in the DNA. Inasmuch as the mRNA begins only two nucleotides before the first codon, it lacks a typical ribosome binding site. Nevertheless, 500 molecules of the protein are produced per cell. Like the Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I, the protein from S. pneumoniae has 5'- and 3'-exonuclease as well as polymerase activities, and it also undergoes a single cleavage on mild proteolysis. Alignment of the two different polymerase I proteins shows 40% of their amino acid residues to be identical. Homology is evident also with the DNA polymerase encoded by phage T7 gene 5. In addition, the amino-terminal regions of the bacterial polymerase I proteins are homologous to the separate 5'-exonuclease protein encoded by phage T7 gene 6. Analysis of the patterns of homology suggests that the bacterial polymerase I may represent the accretion of at least six separate genetic regions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Polymerase I / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Exonucleases
  • Genes, Bacterial*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Protein Conformation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • T-Phages / enzymology
  • T-Phages / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA, Messenger
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • Exonucleases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/J04479