Mammalian proliferating cell nuclear antigen stimulates the processivity of two wheat embryo DNA polymerases

Plant Physiol. 1993 May;102(1):107-14. doi: 10.1104/pp.102.1.107.


Multiple DNA polymerases have been described in all organisms studied to date. Their specific functions are not easy to determine, except when powerful genetic and/or biochemical tools are available. However, the processivity of a DNA polymerase could reflect the physiological role of the enzyme. In this study, analogies between plant and animal DNA polymerases have been investigated by analyzing the size of the products synthesized by wheat DNA polymerases A, B, CI, and CII as a measure of their processivity. Thus, incubations have been carried out with poly(dA)-oligo(dT) as a template-primer under varying assay conditions. In the presence of MgCl2, DNA polymerase A was highly processive, whereas DNA polymerases B, CI, and CII synthesized much shorter products. With MnCl2 instead of MgCl2, DNA polymerase A was highly processive, DNA polymerases B and CII were moderately processive, and DNA polymerase CI remained strictly distributive. The effect of calf thymus proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) on wheat polymerases was studied as described for animal DNA polymerases. The high processivity of DNA polymerase A was PCNA independent, whereas both enzyme activity and processivity of wheat DNA polymerases B and CII were significantly stimulated by PCNA. On the other hand, DNA polymerase CI was not stimulated by PCNA and, like animal DNA polymerase beta, was distributive in all cases. From these results, we propose that wheat DNA polymerase A could correspond to a DNA polymerase alpha, DNA polymerases B and CII could correspond to the delta-like enzyme, and DNA polymerase CI could correspond to DNA polymerase beta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cations, Divalent / pharmacology
  • Cattle
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / classification
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nuclear Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Triticum / enzymology*
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Cations, Divalent
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase