Effect of 2',3'-dideoxythymidine-5'-triphosphate on HeLa cell in vitro DNA synthesis: evidence that DNA polymerase alpha is the only polymerase required for cellular DNA replication

Nucleic Acids Res. 1978 Jun;5(6):1933-46. doi: 10.1093/nar/5.6.1933.


We have studied the effects of the nucleotide analogue, 2',3'-dideoxythymidine-5'-triphosphate (ddTTP) on replicative DNA synthesis in HeLa cell lysates. As previously demonstrated (1), such lysates carry out extensive DNA synthesis in vitro, at rates and in a fashion similar to in vivo DNA replication. We report here that all aspects of DNA synthesis in such lysates (total dNTP incorporation, elongation of continuous nascent strands, and the initiation, elongation, and joining of Okazaki pieces) are only slightly inhibited by concentrations of ddTTP as high as 100-500 micrometer when the dTTP concentration is maintained at 10 micrometer. This finding is consistent with the report by Edenberg, Anderson, and DePamphilis (2) that all aspects of replicative in vitro simian virus 40 DNA synthesis are also resistant to ddTTP. We also find, in agreement with Edenberg, Anderson, and DePamphilis (2), that DNA synthesis catalyzed by DNA polymerases beta or gamma is easily inhibited by ddTTP, while synthesis catalyzed by DNA polymerase alpha is very resistant. These observations suggest that DNA polymerase alpha may be the only DNA polymerase required for all aspects of cellular DNA synthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • DNA Replication / drug effects*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Dideoxynucleotides
  • HeLa Cells / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Thymine Nucleotides / pharmacology*


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Dideoxynucleotides
  • Thymine Nucleotides
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • 2',3'-dideoxythymidine triphosphate