Reverse transcriptase-associated ribonuclease H does not require zinc for catalysis.

M. J. Modak, A. Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


omicron-Phenanthroline, a zinc chelating agent, is known to inhibit the DNA polymerase activity of cellular DNA-dependent and viral RNA-dependent DNA polymerases. We find that omicron-phenanthroline does not inhibit the reverse transcriptase-associated RNase H activity of retroviruses. Kinetic studies, using DNA template-primers as an inhibitor of RNase H, suggest that zinc does not play any role in template-primer binding by reverse transcriptase. These results also indicate a distinct binding site for the template and triphosphate substrates. Cellular RNase H from calf thymus and RNase H-II from Rauscher leukemia virus are likewise resistant to omicron-phenanthroline inhibition, implying non-involvement of zinc in the nucleic acid hydrolysis by these enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4756-4759
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 10 1979
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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