On the direction of reading of bacteriophage T4 gene 43 (deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase)

J Virol. 1972 Jun;9(6):990-8. doi: 10.1128/JVI.9.6.990-998.1972.


Amber (am) mutants of the two closely linked sites, B22 and C125, in bacteriophage T4 gene 43 [deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymerase] synthesize in the nonpermissive (su(-)) Escherichia coli host gene 43 products which are devoid of DNA polymerase activity, but which retain a 3'-exonuclease activity. Diethylaminoethyl-cellulose chromatographic analysis of DNA polymerase and deoxyribonuclease activities from extracts of su(-) cells infected with single- and double-am mutants of T4 gene 43 showed that the exonuclease activity which is observed with amB22 is not seen with double mutants carrying, in addition to amB22, am mutations which map to the clockwise side of the B22 site on the circular genetic map of T4. Similarly, am mutations which map to the clockwise side of the C125 site abolish the exonuclease activity which is observed with an am mutant (amE4335) of this site. It was concluded that in these double mutants termination signals to the clockwise side of amB22 and amE4335 are encountered before the amB22 and amE4335 signals during translation of the messenger ribonucleic acid from T4 gene 43. Thus, it seems that the T4 DNA polymerase is synthesized in vivo in a direction which corresponds to a counterclockwise reading of gene 43.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cell-Free System
  • Chromatography, DEAE-Cellulose
  • Coliphages / enzymology*
  • Coliphages / growth & development
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • Deoxyribonucleases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genes*
  • Genetic Code*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetics, Microbial
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Thymidine / metabolism
  • Thymine Nucleotides / metabolism
  • Tritium


  • Thymine Nucleotides
  • Tritium
  • Glucosephosphate Dehydrogenase
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • Thymidine