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Understanding the thermodynamics of substrate selection by DNA polymerase I is important for characterizing the balance between replication and repair for this enzyme in vivo. Due to their sequence and structural similarities, Klenow and Klentaq, the large fragments of the Pol I DNA polymerases from Escherichia coll and Thermus aquaticus, are considered functional homologs. Klentaq, however, does not have a functional proofreading site. Examination of the DNA binding thermodynamics of Klenow and Klentaq to different DNA structures: single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA), primer-template DNA (pt-DNA), and blunt-end double-stranded DNA (ds-DNA) show that the binding selectivity pattern is similar when examined across a wide range of salt concentration, but can significantly differ at any individual salt concentration. For both proteins, binding of single-stranded DNA shifts from weakest to tightest binding of the three structures as the salt concentration increases. Both Klenow and Klentaq release two to three more ions when binding to pt-DNA and ds-DNA than when binding to ss-DNA. Klenow exhibits significant differences in the ΔC P of binding to pt-DNA versus ds-DNA, and a difference in pi for these two complexes, whereas Klentaq does not, suggesting that Klenow and Klentaq discriminate between these two structures differently. Taken together, the data suggest that the two polymerases bind ds-DNA very differently, but that both bind pt-DNA and ss-DNA similarly, despite the absence of a proofreading site in Klentaq. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.

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Biophysical Journal

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