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Zoulim F , Seeger C
Reverse Transcription in Hepatitis-B Viruses Is Primed by a Tyrosine Residue of the Polymerase
Journal of Virology. 1994 Jan;68(1) :6-13
PMID: ISI:A1994MW25100002   
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All known DNA polymerases require primers for the initiation of DNA synthesis. While cellular polymerases and reverse transcriptases use free hydroxyl groups of RNA or DNA, the DNA polymerases of certain animal viruses and bacteriophages depend upon hydroxyl groups of amino acid residues within proteins as primers for DNA synthesis. Recently, the reverse transcriptase of a hepadnavirus has been shown to prime RNA-directed DNA synthesis from an internal site of the polypeptide (G. H. Wang and C. Seeger, Cell 71:663-670, 1992). In this report we demonstrate that a tyrosine residue of the polymerase polypeptide is the site of a phosphodiester linkage with the first nucleotide of minus-strand DNA. This tyrosine residue is located within an aminoterminal domain of the polymerase polypeptide and is indispensable for the priming of reverse transcription. Our results demonstrate that the hepatitis B virus reverse transcriptase can initiate DNA synthesis without the requirement for tRNA as a primer.
English Article MW251 J VIROL