Amino acid changes coded by bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase mutator mutants. Relating structure to function

J Mol Biol. 1988 Aug 20;202(4):711-24. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(88)90552-9.


Previous studies on the selection of bacteriophage T4 mutator mutants have been extended and a method to regulate the mutator activity of DNA polymerase mutator strains has been developed. The nucleotide changes of 17 bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase mutations that confer a mutator phenotype and the nucleotide substitutions of several other T4 DNA polymerase mutations have been determined. The most striking observation is that the distribution of DNA polymerase mutator mutations is not random; almost all mutator mutations are located in the N-terminal half of the DNA polymerase. It has been shown that the T4 DNA polymerase shares several regions of homology at the protein sequence level with DNA polymerases of herpes, adeno and pox viruses. From studies of bacteriophage T4 and herpes DNA polymerase mutants, and from analyses of similar protein sequences from several organisms, we conclude that DNA polymerase synthetic activities are located in the C-terminal half of the DNA polymerase and that exonucleolytic activity is located nearer the N terminus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • T-Phages / enzymology
  • T-Phages / genetics*


  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase