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EMBO J. 2000 Nov 15;19(22):6259-65.

All three SOS-inducible DNA polymerases (Pol II, Pol IV and Pol V) are involved in induced mutagenesis.

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UPR 9003, CNRS Cancérogenèse et Mutagenèse Moléculaire et Structurale, ESBS and IRCAD, Strasbourg, France.


Most organisms contain several members of a recently discovered class of DNA polymerases (umuC/dinB superfamily) potentially involved in replication of damaged DNA. In Escherichia coli, only Pol V (umuDC) was known to be essential for base substitution mutagenesis induced by UV light or abasic sites. Here we show that, depending upon the nature of the DNA damage and its sequence context, the two additional SOS-inducible DNA polymerases, Pol II (polB) and Pol IV (dinB), are also involved in error-free and mutagenic translesion synthesis (TLS). For example, bypass of N:-2-acetylaminofluorene (AAF) guanine adducts located within the NAR:I mutation hot spot requires Pol II for -2 frameshifts but Pol V for error-free TLS. On the other hand, error-free and -1 frameshift TLS at a benzo(a)pyrene adduct requires both Pol IV and Pol V. Therefore, in response to the vast diversity of existing DNA damage, the cell uses a pool of 'translesional' DNA polymerases in order to bypass the various DNA lesions.

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