Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Feb;11(2):96-110. doi: 10.1038/nrc2998.

DNA polymerases and cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Science Park and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, Texas, USA.


There are 15 different DNA polymerases encoded in mammalian genomes, which are specialized for replication, repair or the tolerance of DNA damage. New evidence is emerging for lesion-specific and tissue-specific functions of DNA polymerases. Many point mutations that occur in cancer cells arise from the error-generating activities of DNA polymerases. However, the ability of some of these enzymes to bypass DNA damage may actually defend against chromosome instability in cells, and at least one DNA polymerase, Pol ζ, is a suppressor of spontaneous tumorigenesis. Because DNA polymerases can help cancer cells tolerate DNA damage, some of these enzymes might be viable targets for therapeutic strategies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk