University of Oulu

Replicative DNA polymerase associated B-subunits

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Author: Jokela, Maarit1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry
2University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2004
Publish Date: 2004-11-16
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on November 26th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Docent Tero Ahola
Docent Mikko Frilander


Replicative DNA polymerases (pols) synthesize chromosomal DNA with high accuracy and speed during cell division. In eukaryotes the process involves three family B pols (α, δ, ε), whereas in Archaea, two types of pols, families B and D, are involved. In this study the B-subunits of replicative pols were analysed at the DNA, RNA and protein levels.

By cloning the cDNAs for the B-subunits of human and mouse pol ε we were able to show that the encoded proteins are not only homologous to budding yeast pol ε, but also to the second largest subunit of pol α. Later studies have revealed that the B-subunits are conserved from Archaea to human, and also that they belong to the large calcineurin-like phosphoesterase superfamily consisting of a wide variety of hydrolases.

At the mRNA level, the expression of the human pol ε B-subunit was strongly dependent on cell proliferation as has been observed for the A-subunit of pol ε and also for other eukaryotic replicative pols. By analysing the promoter of the POLE2 gene encoding the human pol ε B-subunit we show that the gene is regulated by two E2F-pocket protein complexes associated with the Sp1 and NF-1 transcription factors. Comparison of the promoters of the human pol ε and the pol α B-subunit indicates that the genes for the B-subunits may be generally regulated through E2F-complexes whereas adjustment of the basal activity may be achieved by distinct transcription factors.

To clarify the function of the B-subunits, we screened through the expression of 13 different recombinant B-subunits. Although they were mainly expressed as insoluble proteins in E. coli, we were able to optimize the expression and purification for the B-subunit (DP1) of Methanococcus jannaschii pol D (MjaDP1). We show that MjaDP1 alone was a manganese dependent 3'-5' exonuclease with a preference for mispaired nucleotides and single-stranded DNA, suggesting that MjaDP1 functions as the proofreader of archaeal pol D. So far, pol D is the only pol family utilising an enzyme of the calcineurin-like phosphoesterase superfamily as a proofreader.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-7481-4
ISBN Print: 951-42-7480-6
Issue: 422
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2004. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.