132 – De Novo Synthesis of DNA – Like Molecules by Polynucleotide Phosphorylase In Vitro

Authors : M. BELJANSKI
J. Mol. Evol. 1996, 42:493-499

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ABSTRACT: In the presence of Mg2+ ions, polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase, EC 2.7.7.8) is known to synthesize RNA-like polymers using ribonucleoside-5′-diphosphate (NDP) substrates but to be unable to utilize deoxyribonucleoside substrates. Our experiments show that when MgCl2 is replaced by FeCl3, PNPase becomes able to synthesize deoxyheteropolymers using deoxyribonucleoside-5′-diphosphates (dNDPs). The deoxyheteropolymer formed from the four dNDPs is degraded by pancreatic DNase, but not by RNase, and is readily used as a template by DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. Synthesis of this DNA-like polymer is accomplished de novo without the help of any primer or preexisting template. What is more, dA/dG and dC/dT ratios of polymers synthesized by different bacterial PNPases closely match ratios found in DNA of the bacterial species the enzyme came from.

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