The accurate replication and transmission of genetic information is critical in the life of an organism. During its entire lifespan, the genetic information is constantly under attack from endogenous and exogenous sources of damage. To ensure that the content of its genetic information is faithfully preserved for synthesis and transmission, eukaryotic cells have developed a complex system of genomic quality control. Key players in this process are DNA polymerases, the enzymes responsible for synthesizing the DNA, because errors introduced into the genome by polymerase can result in mutations. We use DNA polymerase beta (pol b) as a model system to investigate mechanisms of preserving fidelity during nucleotide incorporation. In the study described here, we characterized the role that loop II of pol b plays in maintaining the activity and fidelity of pol β. We report here that the absence or shortening of loop II compromises the catalytic activity of pol β. Our data also show that loop variants of a specific length have a lower fidelity when compared to the wildtype polymerase. Taken together, our results indicate that loop II is important for the catalytic activity and fidelity of pol β.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Nucleic acids research|
|State||Published - May 2007|
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