Products and substrate/template usage of vaccinia virus DNA primase

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Vaccinia virus encodes a 90-kDa protein conserved in all poxviruses, with DNA primase and nucleoside triphosphatase activities. DNA primase products, synthesized with a single stranded φ{symbol}X174 DNA template, were resolved as dinucleotides and long RNAs on denaturing polyacrylamide and agarose gels. Following phosphatase treatment, the dinucleotides GpC and ApC in a 4:1 ratio were identified by nearest neighbor analysis in which 32P was transferred from [α-32P]CTP to initiating purine nucleotides. Differences in the nucleotide binding sites for initiation and elongation were suggested by the absence of CpC and UpC dinucleotides as well as the inability of deoxynucleotides to mediate primer synthesis despite their incorporation into mixed RNA/DNA primers. Strong primase activity was detected with an oligo(dC) template. However, there was only weak activity with an oligo(dT) template and none with oligo(dA) or oligo(dG). The absence of stringent template specificity is consistent with a role for the enzyme in priming DNA synthesis at the replication fork.




De Silva, F. S., Paran, N., & Moss, B. (2009). Products and substrate/template usage of vaccinia virus DNA primase. Virology, 383(1), 136–141.

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