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Genes Dev. 2001 Jan 15;15(2):158-72.

Domain structure, localization, and function of DNA polymerase eta, defective in xeroderma pigmentosum variant cells.

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MRC Cell Mutation Unit, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RR, UK.


DNA polymerase eta carries out translesion synthesis past UV photoproducts and is deficient in xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) variants. We report that poleta is mostly localized uniformly in the nucleus but is associated with replication foci during S phase. Following treatment of cells with UV irradiation or carcinogens, it accumulates at replication foci stalled at DNA damage. The C-terminal third of poleta is not required for polymerase activity. However, the C-terminal 70 aa are needed for nuclear localization and a further 50 aa for relocalization into foci. Poleta truncations lacking these domains fail to correct the defects in XP-variant cells. Furthermore, we have identified mutations in two XP variant patients that leave the polymerase motifs intact but cause loss of the localization domains.

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