Thymine glycols and urea residues in M13 DNA constitute replicative blocks in vitro

Nucleic Acids Res. 1985 Nov 25;13(22):8035-52. doi: 10.1093/nar/13.22.8035.


Thymine glycols were produced in M13 DNA in a concentration dependent manner by treating the DNA with osmium tetroxide (OsO4). For the formation of urea-containing M13 DNA, OsO4-oxidized DNA was hydrolyzed in alkali (pH 12) to convert the thymine glycols to urea residues. With both thymine glycol- and urea-containing M13 DNA, DNA synthesis catalyzed by Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I Klenow fragment was decreased in proportion to the number of damages present in the template DNA. Sequencing gel analysis of the products synthesized by E. coli DNA polymerase I and T4 DNA polymerase showed that DNA synthesis terminated opposite the putative thymine glycol site and at one nucleotide before the putative urea site. Substitution of manganese for magnesium in the reaction mix resulted in increased processivity of DNA synthesis so that a base was incorporated opposite urea. With thymine glycol-containing DNA, processivity in the presence of manganese was strongly dependent on the presence of a pyrimidine 5' to the thymine glycol in the template.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Coliphages / physiology
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / metabolism
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Osmium Tetroxide / pharmacology
  • T-Phages / enzymology
  • Templates, Genetic / drug effects
  • Thymine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thymine / metabolism
  • Urea / metabolism*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Replication


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins
  • thymine glycol
  • Urea
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Osmium Tetroxide
  • Thymine