Assembly of simian virus 40 Okazaki pieces from DNA primers is reversibly arrested by ATP depletion

T. Nethanel, T. Zlotkin, G. Kaufmann

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We have previously proposed that DNA polymerase α-primase provides short RNA-DNA precursors below 40 nucleotides (DNA primers), several of which assemble into an Okazaki piece after intervening RNA has been removed and the gaps have been filled by DNA polymerase δ (or ε) (T. Nethanel, S. Reisfeld, G. Dinter-Gottlieb, and G. Kaufmann, J. Virol. 62:2867-2873, 1988; T. Nethanel and G. Kaufmann, J. Virol. 64:5912-5918, 1990). In this report, we confirm and extend these conclusions by studying the effects of deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) concentrations and the presence of ATP on the occurrence, dynamics, and configuration of DNA primers in simian virus 40 replicative intermediate DNA. We first show that these parameters are not significantly affected by a 10-fold increase in dNTP precursor concentrations. We then demonstrate that Okazaki piece synthesis can be arrested at the level of DNA primers by ATP depletion. The arrested DNA primers faced short gaps of 10 to 20 nucleotides at their 3' ends and were progressively chased into Okazaki pieces when ATP was restored. ATP could not be substituted in this process by adenosine-5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) or adenyl-imidodiphosphate. The chase was interrupted by aphidicolin but not by butylphenyl-dGTP. The results implicate an ATP-requiring factor in the switch between the two DNA polymerases engaged in Okazaki piece synthesis. They also suggest that the replication fork advances by small, DNA primer-size increments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6634-6640
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992


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