Deoxynucleoside triphosphate and pyrophosphate binding sites in the catalytically competent ternary complex for the polymerase reaction catalyzed by DNA polymerase I (Klenow fragment)

J Biol Chem. 1995 Jan 27;270(4):1945-54. doi: 10.1074/jbc.270.4.1945.


We have employed site-directed mutagenesis to identify those amino acid residues that interact with the deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) and pyrophosphate in the Klenow fragment-DNA-dNTP ternary complex. Earlier structural, mutagenesis, and labeling studies have suggested that the incoming dNTP molecule contacts a region on one side of the polymerase cleft, primarily involving residues within the so-called "fingers" subdomain. We have made mutations in residues seen to be close to the dNTP in the crystal structure of the Klenow fragment-dNTP binary complex and have examined their kinetic parameters, particularly Km(dNTP). The results are consistent with the notion that there are significant differences between the dNTP interactions in the binary and ternary complexes, although some contacts may be present in both. When dTTP is the incoming nucleotide, the side chains of Arg754 and Phe762 make the largest contributions to binding; measurement of Km(PPi) suggests that Arg754 contacts the beta- or gamma-phosphate of the dNTP. With dGTP, the contribution of Arg754 remains the same, but the additional interactions are provided by both Lys758 and Phe762, suggesting that the binding of the incoming dNTP is not identical under all circumstances. Mutations in Arg754 and Lys758 also cause a substantial decrease in the rate of polymerase-catalyzed incorporation, and sulfur elemental effect measurements indicate that loss of Arg754 (and perhaps also Lys758) slows the rate of the chemical step of the reaction. Mutations of Arg682, His734, and Tyr766 affect the binding of DNA, suggesting that these mutations, whose effect on dNTP binding is small, may influence dNTP binding indirectly via the positioning of the DNA template-primer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA Polymerase I / chemistry*
  • DNA Polymerase I / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Deoxyribonucleotides / metabolism*
  • Diphosphates / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides / chemistry
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Structure, Secondary*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Primers
  • Deoxyribonucleotides
  • Diphosphates
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • DNA Polymerase I

Associated data

  • GENBANK/L11920
  • GENBANK/U00021