Differential effects of dimethylsulfoxide on the activities of human DNA polymerases alpha and delta

Nucleic Acids Res. 1986 Feb 25;14(4):1719-26. doi: 10.1093/nar/14.4.1719.


The effects of dimethylsulfoxide on the activities of purified human placental DNA polymerase alpha and DNA polymerase delta were examined. DNA polymerase alpha was inhibited by dimethylsulfoxide, whereas DNA polymerase delta was significantly activated, by as much as 6-fold. Kinetic data show that the effect of dimethylsulfoxide on DNA polymerase delta activity was due to a reduction in the apparent Km for its substrate, dTTP. This novel finding of the differential effects of dimethylsulfoxide on the activities of polymerases alpha and delta may be useful in their identification and differential assay.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Polymerase I / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase II / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA Replication / drug effects*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors


  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide