A DNA polymerase with unusual properties from the slime mold Physarum polycephalum

Eur J Biochem. 1987 Mar 2;163(2):397-405. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1987.tb10812.x.


Two forms of a DNA polymerase have been purified from microplasmodia of Physarum polycephalum by poly(ethyleneimine) precipitation and chromatography on DEAE-Sephacel, phosphocellulose, heparin Sepharose, hydroxyapatite, DNA-agarose, blue-Sepharose. They were separated from DNA polymerase alpha on phosphocellulose and from each other on heparin-Sepharose. Form HS1 enzyme was 30-40% pure and form HS2 enzyme 60% with regard to protein contents of the preparations. Form HS2 enzyme was generated from form HS1 enzyme on prolonged standing of enzyme preparations. The DNA polymerases were obtained as complexes of a 60-kDa protein associated with either a 135-kDa (HS1) or a 110-kDa (HS2) DNA-polymerizing polypeptide in a 1:1 molar stoichiometry. The biochemical function of the 60-kDa protein remained unknown. The complexes tended to dissociate during gradient centrifugation and during partition chromatography as well as during polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis under nondenaturing conditions at high dilutions of samples. Both forms existed in plasmodia extracts, their proportions depending on several factors including those which promoted proteolysis. The DNA polymerases resembled eucaryotic DNA polymerase beta by several criteria and were functionally indistinguishable from each other. It is suggested that lower eucaryotes contain repair DNA polymerases, which are similar to those of eubacteria on a molecular mass basis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Centrifugation, Density Gradient
  • Chromatography / methods
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / isolation & purification*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Molecular Weight
  • Physarum / enzymology*
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Templates, Genetic


  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase