Gene 4 protein of bacteriophage T7. Purification physical properties, and stimulation of T7 DNA polymerase during the elongation of polynucleotide chains

J Biol Chem. 1978 Jan 25;253(2):566-73.


With the use of an in vitro complementation assay to measure activity, the gene 4 protein of bacteriophage T7 has been purified 1000-fold to yield a nearly homogeneous protein. The purified gene 4 protein is a single polypeptide having a molecular weight of 58,000. In addition to being essential for T7 DNA replication in vivo and in vitro, the gene 4 protein is required for DNA synthesis by the purified T7 DNA polymerase on duplex T7 DNA templates. In the absence of ribonucleoside 5'-triphosphates, DNA synthesis by the gene 4 protein and the T7 DNA polymerase is dependent on phosphodiester bond interruptions containing 3'-hydroxyl groups (nicks) in the duplex DNA. The reaction is specific for the T7 DNA polymerase, but any duplex DNA containing nicks can serve as template. The Km for nicks in the reaction is 3 x 10(-10) M.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Coliphages / enzymology*
  • DNA Ligases / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Weight
  • Protein Conformation
  • Viral Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Viral Proteins
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • DNA Ligases