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Mol Cell. 2000 Dec;6(6):1491-9.

DNA polymerase zeta introduces multiple mutations when bypassing spontaneous DNA damage in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Spontaneous DNA damage can be dealt with by multiple repair/bypass pathways that have overlapping specificities. We have used a frameshift reversion assay to examine spontaneous mutations that accumulate in yeast strains defective for the high-fidelity nucleotide excision repair or recombination pathways. In contrast to the simple frameshift mutations that occur in wild-type strains, the reversion events in mutant strains are often complex in nature, with the selected frameshift mutation being accompanied by one or more base substitutions. Genetic analyses demonstrate that the complex events are dependent on the Pol zeta translesion polymerase, thus implicating the DNA damage bypass activity of low-fidelity translesion polymerases in hypermutation phenomena.

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