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Initiation of DNA Synthesis: Synthesis of ϕX174 Replicative Form Requires RNA Synthesis Resistant to Rifampicin

By Randy Schekman, William Wickner, Ole Westergaard, Douglas Brutlag, Klaus Geider, Leroy L. Bertsch and Arthur Kornberg


Conversion of single-stranded DNA of phage ϕX174 to the double-stranded replicative form in Escherichia coli uses enzymes essential for initiation and replication of the host chromosome. These enzymes can now be purified by the assay that this phage system provides. The ϕX174 conversion is distinct from that of M13. The reaction requires different host enzymes and is resistant to rifampicin and streptolydigin, inhibitors of RNA polymerase. However, RNA synthesis is essential for ϕX174 DNA synthesis: the reaction is inhibited by low concentrations of actinomycin D, all four ribonucleoside triphosphates are required, and an average of one phosphodiester bond links DNA to RNA in the isolated double-stranded circles. Thus, we presume that, as in the case of M13, synthesis of a short RNA chain primes the synthesis of a replicative form by DNA polymerase. Initiation of DNA synthesis by RNA priming is a mechanism of wide significance

Topics: Biological Sciences: Biochemistry
Year: 1972
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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