The PCR- based- α- complementation assay is an effective technique to measure the fidelity of polymerases, especially RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRP) and Reverse Transcriptases (RT). It has been successfully employed to determine the fidelity of the poliovirus polymerase 3D-pol (DeStefano, 2010) as well as the human immunodeficiency virus Reverse Transcriptase (HIV RT) (Achuthan et al., 2014). A major advantage of the assay is that since the PCR step is involved, even the low yield of products obtained after two rounds of low yield of RNA synthesis (for RDRP) or reverse transcription (for RT) can be measured using the assay. The assay also mimics the reverse transcription process, since both RNA- and DNA- directed RT synthesis steps are performed. We recently used this assay to show that the HIV RT, at physiologically relevant magnesium concentration, has accuracy in the same range as other reverse transcriptases (Achuthan et al., 2014). Here, we describe in detail how to prepare the inserts using the primer extension reactions. The prepared inserts are then processed further in the PCR- based- α- complementation assay.
Thanks for your further question/comment. It has been sent to the author(s) of this protocol. You will receive a notification once your question/comment is addressed again by the author(s).
Meanwhile, it would be great if you could help us to spread the word about Bio-protocol.