DNA polymerase betas from cherry salmon, Oncorhynchus masou, liver and testes were purified to near homogeneity, and no substantial differences between the enzymes were observed. The molecular weight of both enzymes, determined by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, was 39,000. The amino acid sequences of the N-terminus of the liver and testes enzymes were determined and compared with that of the rat enzyme. Of the N-terminal 30 amino acid residues of salmon liver DNA polymerase beta, 21 (70%) were identical to those of the rat enzyme sequence. However, unlike most eukaryotic DNA polymerase betas, the isoelectric points (pIs) of the DNA polymerase betas from salmon liver and testes were both estimated to be 6.2, which is significantly different from the alkaline isoelectric points (pI = 8.5-9.5) established for other highly purified vertebrate DNA polymerase betas. The cherry salmon DNA polymerase betas were still active at below 10 degrees C, compared with the rat enzyme.