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Licensing opportunity DI 05/52

The thermostable DNA polymerase from a virus of the hyperthemophilic archaeon Acidianus

Inventors: David Prangishvili et al.

Description of invention: 

Studies of viral diversity in geothermally heated aquatic environments resulted in the discovery of a plethora of double-stranded DNA viruses infecting hyperthermophilic members of the domain Archaea. The morphological diversity of these viruses is extraordinary, and includes forms that have never been observed in any other habitat. One of the most unusual forms is represented by Acidianus bottle-shaped virus, ABV. Its bottle-shaped virion carries an envelope, encasing a funnel-shaped core built from nucleoprotein filament, and 20 short rigid filaments of unknown function at the broad end of the particle. As in case of other hyperthermophilic archaeal viruses, very few genes have homologues in the public sequence databases. These encode a glycosyltransferase, a thymidylate kinase and a protein-primed DNA polymerase. The latter is the only known DNA polymerase from a hyperthermophilic archaeal virus and shows a similarity to protein-primed DNA polymerases exclusive to linear genomes of some icosahedral mesophilic viruses, including the bacteriophage ø29 and the eukaryal adenovirus. It carries the characteristic exonuclease domains (Exo I, II and III) in the N-terminal region and five conserved polymerising domains (Pol I, IIa, IIb, III and IV) towards the C-terminus. Moreover, the two insertion regions TPR-1 and TPR-2 which are characteristic of the protein-primed DNA polymerases are also present in the protein.

 Specific advandages

 High temperature required for the activity of the ABV DNA polymerase, its high thermostability and high processivity could be significant advantages for application purposes, e.g. for long range PCR.

 Potential applications
 A spectrum of potential applications of the enzyme could be similar to that of the protein-primed DNA polymerase of the bacteriophage ø29, and include the whole genome amplification. 
Patent Status:
 European patent application filed on May 12, 2006

 Recent pertinent publications:
 Viral diversity in hot springs of Pozzuoli, Italy, and characterization of a unique archaeal virus, Acidianus bottle-shaped virus, from a new family, the Ampullaviridae
Monika Häring, Reinhard Rachel, Xu Peng, Roger A. Garrett, and David Prangishvili.
2005. J Virol. 79:9904-11
 Viruses of the Archaea: a unifying view
David Prangishvili, Patrick Forterre, and Roger A. Garrett.
Nature Rev. Microbiol. 2006.4:837-48. 
 Xu Peng, Tamara Basta, Monika Häring, Roger A. Garrett, and David Prangishvili.
Virology. 2007

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