Sanchez Garcia J, Ciufo LF, Yang X, Kearsey SE, MacNeill SA

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004;32(10):3005–16

DNA polymerase delta (Pol delta) plays a central role in eukaryotic chromosomal DNA replication, repair and recombination. In fission yeast, Poldelta is a tetrameric enzyme, comprising the catalytic subunit Pol3 and three smaller subunits, Cdc1, Cdc27 and Cdm1. Previous studies have demonstrated a direct interaction between Pol3 and Cdc1, the B-subunit of the complex. Here it is shown that removal of the tandem zinc fingermodules located at the C-terminus of Pol3 by targeted proteolysis renders the Pol3 protein non-functional in vivo, and that the C-terminal zinc fingermodule ZnF2 is both necessary and sufficient for binding to the B-subunit in vivo and in vitro. Extensive mutagenesis of the ZnF2 module identifies important residues for B-subunit binding. In particular, disruption of the ZnF2 module by substitution of the putative metal-coordinating cysteines with alanine abolishes B-subunit binding and in vivo function. Finally, evidence is presented suggesting that the ZnF region is post-translationally modified in fission yeast cells.