DOI: 10.3390/biom14010049 ISSN: 2218-273X

A Novel Thermostable and Processive Reverse Transcriptase from a Group II Intron of Anoxybacillus flavithermus

Igor P. Oscorbin, Maxim L. Filipenko
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

Reverse transcriptases (RTs) are a family of enzymes that synthesize DNA using an RNA template and are involved in retrovirus propagation and telomere lengthening. In vitro, RTs are widely applied in various methods, including RNA-seq, RT-PCR, and RT-LAMP. Thermostable RTs from bacterial group II introns are promising tools for biotechnology due to their higher thermostability, fidelity, and processivity compared to commonly used M-MuLV RT and its mutants. However, the diversity of group II intron-encoded RTs is still understudied. In this work, we biochemically characterized a novel RT from a thermophilic bacterium, Anoxybacillus flavithermus, which was isolated from a hot spring in New Zealand and has an optimal growth temperature of around 60 °C. The cloned RT, named Afl RT, retained approximately 40% of the specific activity after a 45 min incubation at 50 °C. The optimal pH was 8.5, the optimal temperature was between 45 and 50 °C, and Mn2+ ions were found to be an optimal cofactor. The processivity analysis with MS2 phage gRNA (3569 b) demonstrated that Afl RT elongated fully up to 36% of the template molecules. In reverse transcription and RT-qLAMP, the enzyme allowed up to 10 copies of MS2 phage genomic RNA to be detected per reaction. Thus, Afl RT holds great potential for a variety of practical applications that require the use of thermostable and processive RTs.

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