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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 22;278(34):32014-9. Epub 2003 Jun 6.

POLN, a nuclear PolA family DNA polymerase homologous to the DNA cross-link sensitivity protein Mus308.

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University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Hillman Cancer Center, Research Pavilion, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The Drosophila Mus308 gene is unusual in encoding both a family A DNA polymerase domain and a DNA/RNA helicase domain. A mus308 mutation was shown to result in increased sensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents, leading to the hypothesis that Mus308 functions in the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links. Recently a mammalian ortholog of Mus308, POLQ, has been identified. We report here the identification, cloning, and characterization of POLN and its gene product, a new mammalian DNA polymerase also related to Mus308. The human cDNA encodes a protein of 900 amino acid residues. The region starting from residue 419 shares 33% identity (48% similarity) with the equivalent region of Escherichia coli DNA polymerase I. POLN is expressed in human cell lines with numerous alternatively spliced transcripts, and a full-length human coding region that comprises 24 exons within 160 kilobases of genomic DNA. Expression analysis by northern blotting and in situ hybridization showed highest expression of full-length POLN in human and mouse testis. POLN localized to the nucleus when expressed as a enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged protein in human fibroblasts. GFP-tagged recombinant POLN had DNA polymerase activity on activated calf thymus DNA and on a singly primed template.

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