Springer Nature

Neq2X7: a multi-purpose and open-source fusion DNA polymerase for advanced DNA engineering and diagnostics PCR

Posted on 2024-04-03 - 03:43
Abstract Thermostable DNA polymerases, such as Taq isolated from the thermophilic bacterium Thermus aquaticus, enable one-pot exponential DNA amplification known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, properties other than thermostability - such as fidelity, processivity, and compatibility with modified nucleotides - are important in contemporary molecular biology applications. Here, we describe the engineering and characterization of a fusion between a DNA polymerase identified in the marine archaea Nanoarchaeum equitans and a DNA binding domain from the thermophile Sulfolobus solfataricus. The fusion creates a highly active enzyme, Neq2X7, capable of amplifying long and GC-rich DNA, unaffected by replacing dTTP with dUTP in PCR, and tolerant to various known PCR inhibitors. This makes it an attractive DNA polymerase for use, e.g., with uracil excision (USER) DNA assembly and for contamination-free diagnostics. Using a magnification via nucleotide imbalance fidelity assay, Neq2X7 was estimated to have an error rate lower than 2 ∙ 10−5 bp−1 and an approximately 100x lower fidelity than the parental variant Neq2X, indicating a trade-off between fidelity and processivity – an observation that may be of importance for similarly engineered DNA polymerases. Neq2X7 is easy to produce for routine application in any molecular biology laboratory, and the expression plasmid is made freely available.


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