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Cell Res. 2008 Jan;18(1):162-73.

Eukaryotic DNA damage tolerance and translesion synthesis through covalent modifications of PCNA.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 5E5.

Abstract

In addition to well-defined DNA repair pathways, all living organisms have evolved mechanisms to avoid cell death caused by replication fork collapse at a site where replication is blocked due to disruptive covalent modifications of DNA. The term DNA damage tolerance (DDT) has been employed loosely to include a collection of mechanisms by which cells survive replication-blocking lesions with or without associated genomic instability. Recent genetic analyses indicate that DDT in eukaryotes, from yeast to human, consists of two parallel pathways with one being error-free and another highly mutagenic. Interestingly, in budding yeast, these two pathways are mediated by sequential modifications of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) by two ubiquitination complexes Rad6-Rad18 and Mms2-Ubc13-Rad5. Damage-induced monoubiquitination of PCNA by Rad6-Rad18 promotes translesion synthesis (TLS) with increased mutagenesis, while subsequent polyubiquitination of PCNA at the same K164 residue by Mms2-Ubc13-Rad5 promotes error-free lesion bypass. Data obtained from recent studies suggest that the above mechanisms are conserved in higher eukaryotes. In particular, mammals contain multiple specialized TLS polymerases. Defects in one of the TLS polymerases have been linked to genomic instability and cancer.

PMID:
18157158
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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