Biochemistry Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-3-2009

Journal

The EMBO Journal

Volume

28

Issue

11

First Page

1644

Last Page

1654

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emboj.2009.122

Abstract

Human DNA polymerase iota (pol iota) is a unique member of Y-family polymerases, which preferentially misincorporates nucleotides opposite thymines (T) and halts replication at T bases. The structural basis of the high error rates remains elusive. We present three crystal structures of pol complexed with DNA containing a thymine base, paired with correct or incorrect incoming nucleotides. A narrowed active site supports a pyrimidine to pyrimidine mismatch and excludes Watson-Crick base pairing by pol. The template thymine remains in an anti conformation irrespective of incoming nucleotides. Incoming ddATP adopts a syn conformation with reduced base stacking, whereas incorrect dGTP and dTTP maintain anti conformations with normal base stacking. Further stabilization of dGTP by H-bonding with Gln59 of the finger domain explains the preferential T to G mismatch. A template 'U-turn' is stabilized by pol and the methyl group of the thymine template, revealing the structural basis of T stalling. Our structural and domain-swapping experiments indicate that the finger domain is responsible for pol's high error rates on pyrimidines and determines the incorporation specificity.

Notes

Figures in the article are listed at the end of this record and are available for download.

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