An Okazaki piece of simian virus 40 may be synthesized by ligation of shorter precursor chains

T. Nethanel, S. Reisfeld, G. Dinter-Gottlieb, G. Kaufmann

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It is generally accepted that an aphidicolin-sensitive DNA polymerase elongates the eucaryotic RNA primer (iRNA) into a mature Okazaki piece reaching ca. 200 nucleotides. Yet, as shown here, nascent DNA chains below 40 nucleotides accumulated in simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA replicating in isolated nuclei in the presence of aphidicolin. These products resembled precursors of longer Okazaki pieces synthesized in the absence of aphidicolin (termed here DNA primers) in size distribution, lagging-replication-fork polarity, and content of iRNA. Within the isolated SV40 replicative intermediate, DNA primers could be extended in a reaction catalyzed by the Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I large fragment. This increased their length by an average of 21 deoxyribonucleotide residues, indicating that single-stranded gaps of corresponding length existed 3' to the DNA primers. Incubation with T4 DNA ligase converted most of the extended DNA primers into products resembling long Okazaki pieces. These data led us to propose that the synthesis of an SV40 Okazaki piece could be itself discontinuous and could comprise the following steps: (i) iRNA synthesis by DNA primase, (ii) iRNA extension into a DNA primer by an aphidicolin-resistant activity associated with DNA primase-DNA polymerase α, (iii) removal of iRNA moieties between adjacent DNA primers, (iv) 'gap filling' between DNA primers by the aphidicolin-sensitive DNA polymerase α, and (v) ligation of DNA primer units onto a growing Okazaki piece. Eventually, a mature Okazaki piece is ligated onto a longer nascent DNA chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2867-2873
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1988


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