Novel blunt-end addition reactions catalyzed by DNA polymerase I of Escherichia coli

J Mol Biol. 1987 Nov 5;198(1):123-7. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(87)90462-1.


DNA polymerase I (Klenow fragment) of Escherichia coli catalyzes the addition of deoxynucleotides to 3' hydroxyl termini of blunt-ended DNA fragments. The product of the reaction, which we call +1 addition, is found only in very low yield under conditions that permit editing by the 3'----5' exonuclease activity of the wild-type polymerase. A mutant form of the Klenow fragment that lacks detectable 3'----5' exonuclease activity shows an elevated accumulation of the +1 addition product. The mutant enzyme can use any one of the four dNTPs to carry out the reaction when each precursor is provided individually. However, in the presence of all four dNTPs the addition of dATP is strongly preferred. Suppression of the editing function of the wild-type polymerase through the use of high concentrations of exogenous deoxynucleoside monophosphates also results in a significant increase in the amount of +1 addition product formed. The presence of a high dNMP concentration also alters the specificity of the nucleotide addition reaction carried out by the wild-type enzyme. Thus, in addition to dATP, the dNTP which is complementary to the exogenous deoxynucleoside monophosphate, is also used in the +1 addition reaction. A similar effect of dNMPs on the specificity of nucleotide addition was obtained with the mutant Klenow fragment. These results define two pathways for the +1 addition reaction: one that does not require coding information from the DNA template and a second in which coding information is provided by the exogenous dNMP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Catalysis
  • DNA Polymerase I / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA Polymerase I