Phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein and nucleolar protein B23 are putative stimulatory factors for DNA polymerase α. We showed that these two factors interacted with each other and stimulated the activity of DNA polymerase α synergistically. B23 exists in two isoforms designated as B23.1 and B23.2. While B23.1 bound to a retinoblastoma protein-conjugated column, B23.2 did not. These results indicate that B23.1 can directly bind to retinoblastoma protein. It was also shown that B23 was co-immunoprecipitated with both retinoblastoma protein and DNA polymerase α from a HeLa cell extract by monoclonal antibodies raised against these components. These results suggest that these three proteins exist as a complex in cells, at least in part. The simultaneous addition of both B23.1 and retinoblastoma protein caused stimulation of DNA polymerase α activity that is much higher than the sum of the stimulation by retinoblastoma protein and B23.1 alone. The maximal stimulation was attained at the molar ratio of DNA polymerase α/retinoblastoma protein/B23.1=1:1:12. Since B23 exists as a hexamer in solution, it may act as a stimulator of DNA polymerase α in a form of double-hexamer, in concert with the phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein.
The Japanese Biochemical Society