This project concerns the design, construction and publication of a comprehensive database on DNA polymerases - DNAPolBase. DNAPolBase will serve as a freely available, high quality resource of DNA polymerase biochemistry, biology, genetics and structure. The worksite for this project will be New England Biolabs, in Ipswich, MA. The corruption of DNA copying is responsible for virtually all genetic disease states and the core machines responsible for this copying process are DNA polymerases. DNA polymerases are also key elements in a variety of diagnostic and molecular biology applications including DNA sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Polymerase-based applications frequently involve non-natural substrates and reaction conditions, and engineered enzymes well suited to these applications are increasingly sought. The identification of novel polymerases and entire new super families has spurred renewed interest in these enzymes. This abundance of information makes it increasingly difficult for casual and experienced researchers alike to maintain a comprehensive view of the field. Despite their importance, no single repository for information relevant to the study and use of DNA polymerases currently exists. We will compile the wealth of known polymerase data from public and private records into a searchable database to provide a useful first step in understanding the role of these enzymes in vivo, and to inform their use in and adaptation to numerous applications. As part of the groundwork of database development, key collaborations with scientists willing to seed this database with their own libraries of private and public polymerase data and records have begun. From this auspicious start a database will be organized to serve the informational needs of numerous user groups, including basic and pharmaceutical researchers, application based scientists, instructors, and students. Functions from large-scale comparative studies (desired to advance many aspects of polymerase-based research and applications) to simple queries of polymerase properties or origins will be provided. We anticipate that NEB will benefit in much the same way that the public will by having access to such a resource, namely by advancing our internal DNA polymerase development projects.

Public Health Relevance

DNA Polymerase Database Project Narrative DNA polymerases are the agents that copy the genetic blueprint of all living creatures, and corruption of their functions is the cause of virtually all genetic disease states. DNA polymerases have additionally been co-opted to serve as the engines of key diagnostic platforms, notably DNA-based detection systems and DNA sequencing. A central repository for information on DNA polymerases will be an important resource in understanding and coping with the effects of errant DNA copying, while additionally enhancing development of more rapid, effective, and cost-effective diagnostic platforms.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BST-Q (10))
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Lyster, Peter
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New England Biolabs, Inc.
United States
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Langhorst, Bradley W; Jack, William E; Reha-Krantz, Linda et al. (2012) Polbase: a repository of biochemical, genetic and structural information about DNA polymerases. Nucleic Acids Res 40:D381-7