An archaeal primase functions as a nanoscale caliper to define primer length

The cellular replicative DNA polymerases cannot initiate DNA synthesis without a priming 3′ OH. During DNA replication, this is supplied in the context of a short RNA primer molecule synthesized by DNA primase. The primase of archaea and eukaryotes, despite having varying subunit compositions, share sequence and structural homology. Intriguingly, archaeal primase has been demonstrated to possess the ability to synthesize DNA de novo, a property shared with the eukaryotic PrimPol enzymes. The dual RNA and DNA synthetic capabilities of the archaeal DNA primase have led to the proposal that there may be a sequential hand-off between these synthetic modes of primase. In the current work, we dissect the functional interplay between DNA and RNA synthetic modes of primase. In addition, we determine the key determinants that govern primer length definition by the archaeal primase. Our results indicate a primer measuring system that functions akin to a caliper.

Publication Date:
Jun 26 2018
Date Submitted:
Jul 01 2019
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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 Record created 2019-07-01, last modified 2019-07-24

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