Fidelity of DNA replication catalysed in vitro on a natural DNA template by the T4 bacteriophage multi-enzyme complex

Nature. 1980 May 29;285(5763):300-5. doi: 10.1038/285300a0.


More than 50 copies of a phi X174 DNA template can be made in 60 min in an in vitro DNA replication system consisting of seven purfied replication proteins isolated from T4 bacteriophage-infected cells. By transfecting with the DNA products and assaying for the reversion of specific amber mutants, the high degree of base-pairing fidelity in this system is revealed; the in vitro system is also shown to respond to the mutagenic effect of Mn2+ and to display strong base-pair context effects on fidelity, as expected from in vivo studies.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage phi X 174 / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / metabolism
  • Exonucleases / metabolism
  • Manganese / pharmacology
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • T-Phages / genetics*
  • Templates, Genetic


  • DNA, Viral
  • Deoxyribonucleotides
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Manganese
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Exonucleases
  • DNA Helicases