T-antigen-DNA polymerase alpha complex implicated in simian virus 40 DNA replication.
We have combined in vitro DNA replication reactions and immunological techniques to analyze biochemical interactions between simian virus (SV40) large T antigen and components of the cellular replication apparatus. First, in vitro SV40 DNA replication was characterized with specific origin mutants. Next, monoclonal antibodies were used to demonstrate that a specific domain of T antigen formed a complex with cellular DNA polymerase alpha. Several antibodies were identified that coprecipitated T antigen and DNA polymerase alpha, while others were found to selectively prevent this interaction and concomitantly inhibit DNA replication. DNA polymerase alpha also bound efficiently to a T-antigen affinity column, confirming the immunoprecipitation results and providing a useful method for purification of the complete protein complex. Taken together, these results suggest that the T-antigen-polymerase association may be a key step in the initiation of SV40 DNA replication.