A Mechanism of Nucleotide Misincorporation during Transcription due to Template-Strand Misalignment

Academic Article


  • Transcription errors by T7 RNA polymerase (RNAP) may occur as the result of a mechanism in which the template base two positions downstream of the 3′ end of the RNA (the TSn+1 base) is utilized during two consecutive nucleotide-addition cycles. In the first cycle, misalignment of the template strand leads to incorporation of a nucleotide that is complementary to the TSn+1 base. In the second cycle, the template is realigned and the mismatched primer is efficiently extended, resulting in a substitution error. Proper organization of the transcription bubble is required for maintaining the correct register of the DNA template, as the presence of a complementary nontemplate strand opposite the TSn+1 base suppresses template misalignment. Our findings for T7 RNAP are in contrast to related DNA polymerases of the Pol I type, which fail to extend mismatches efficiently and generate predominately deletion errors as a result of template-strand misalignment. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

  • Molecular Cell  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Pomerantz RT; Temiakov D; Anikin M; Vassylyev DG; McAllister WT
  • Start Page

  • 245
  • End Page

  • 255
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 2