Mitochondrial DNA replication does not involve DNA polymerase alpha

J Biol Chem. 1980 Dec 25;255(24):11847-52.


Aphidicolin, a known inhibitor of DNA polymerase alpha, is a potent inhibitor of nuclear DNA synthesis in HeLa cells but has no effect on the replication of mitochondrial DNA. Parallel experiments with mitochondria incubated in vitro also show no inhibition of DNA synthesis by aphidicolin; however, DNA synthesis in these isolated mitochondria is completely blocked by dideoxycytidine triphosphate, which inhibits DNA polymerase gamma but not the alpha polymerase. The replication of mitochondrial DNA therefore requires only one DNA polymerase of the gamma type.

MeSH terms

  • Aphidicolin
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase II / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • DNA Polymerase III / metabolism
  • DNA Replication* / drug effects
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / pharmacology
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology
  • HeLa Cells / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Deoxyribonucleotides
  • Diterpenes
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Aphidicolin
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Polymerase III