Synthesis of compositionally unique DNA by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1983 Mar 29;111(3):1105-12. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(83)91413-4.


Studies on the composition and characterization of DNA product(s) synthesized by calf thymus terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase were performed using homopolymeric single-stranded, calf thymus double-stranded, and native DNA resident in calf thymus chromatin preparations as priming DNA species. Synthesis was carried out using equimolar concentrations of all four deoxynucleoside triphosphates as substrates and Mg2+ or Mn2+ as an effective divalent cation. Irrespective of the nature of the priming DNA or the divalent cation, the DNA product contained 60-70% dGMP residues, 10-15% each of the two pyrimidine residues, and 5-10% dAMP residues. The product synthesized using chromatin DNA as initiator was predominantly single-stranded and its synthesis was resistant to actinomycin D. The predilection of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase to synthesize dGMP-rich products on natural or homopolymeric DNA primers suggests that such products may represent biologically important recognition signal sequences.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalysis
  • Cattle
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase / metabolism*
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Guanosine Monophosphate / isolation & purification
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology


  • Chromatin
  • Guanosine Monophosphate
  • DNA
  • DNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase