Detection of activities that interfere with the enzymatic assay of deoxyribonucleoside 5'-triphosphates

T. W. North, R. K. Bestwick, C. K. Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Several enzymes that interfere with the enzymatic assay of deoxyribonucleoside 5'triphosphates (dNTP's) are present as contaminants when nucleotides are extracted from HeLa cells with 60% methanol. These activities include a nuclease, nucleoside diphosphokinase, and deoxyribonucleoside monophosphokinases which phosphorylate dAMP, dGMP, and dCMP. Collectively, these enzymes are able to degrade and reutilize the DNA template which is used together with DNA polymerase for dNTP assays. This process introduces large errors when dNTP assays are performed in this manner. Attempts to block the enzymatic conversion of deoxyribonucleoside diphosphates to triphosphates by inhibition of nucleoside diphosphokinase were unsuccessful because of the inability to block completely the kinase activity. Acid extraction of nucleotides also results in the presence of an activity that interferes with the enzymatic dNTP assay. The error introduced by this interfering activity is much smaller than that arising from the enzymes present in methanol extracts. All of these interfering activities are removed when cells are first extracted with 60% methanol and the resulting extract is subsequently treated with perchloric acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6640-6645
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of activities that interfere with the enzymatic assay of deoxyribonucleoside 5'-triphosphates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this