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Structure. 2001 Sep;9(9):759-64.

DNA lesion bypass polymerases open up.

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Laboratory of Structural Biology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Structures of catalytic fragments of two DNA lesion bypass DNA polymerases, yeast DNA polymerase eta and an archeon DinB homolog, have recently been solved. These structures share several common architectural and structural features observed in other DNA polymerases, including a hand-like architecture with fingers, palm, and thumb subdomains. The new structures provide the first structural insights into DNA lesion bypass. The fingers and thumb are smaller than those in other DNA polymerases. Modeled substrates suggest that the fingers in the vicinity of the incoming nucleotide is closed, a conformation not previously observed for an unliganded polymerase. However, the template binding pocket appears to be more open, indicating that for DNA polymerase eta, a covalently linked thymine-thymine dimer could be accommodated.

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