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During DNA synthesis, high-fidelity DNA polymerase (DNAP) translocates processively along the template by utilizing the chemical energy from nucleotide incorporation. Thus, understanding the chemomechanical coupling mechanism and the effect of external mechanical force on replication velocity are the most fundamental issues for high-fidelity DNAP. Here, based on our proposed model, we take Klenow fragment as an example to study theoretically the dynamics of high-fidelity DNAPs such as the replication velocity versus different types of external force, i.e., a stretching force on the template, a backward force on the enzyme and a forward force on the enzyme. Replication velocity as a function of the template tension with only one adjustable parameter is in good agreement with the available experimental data. The replication velocity is nearly independent of the forward force, even at very low dNTP concentration. By contrast, the backward force has a large effect on the replication velocity, especially at high dNTP concentration. A small backward force can increase the replication velocity and an optimal backward force exists at which the replication velocity has maximum value; with any further increase in the backward force the velocity decreases rapidly. These results can be tested easily by future experiments and are aid our understanding of the chemomechanical coupling mechanism and polymerization dynamics of high-fidelity DNAP.


Ping Xie. Dynamics of DNA polymerase I (Klenow fragment) under external force. Journal of molecular modeling. 2013 Mar;19(3):1379-89

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PMID: 23197324

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