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FEBS Lett. 2005 Feb 7;579(4):873-6.

Replication of damaged DNA by translesion synthesis in human cells.

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  • 1Genome Damage and Stability Centre, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RQ, UK.


Most types of DNA damage block the passage of the replication machinery. In order to bypass these blocks, cells employ special translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases, which have lower stringency than replicative polymerases. DNA polymerase eta is the major polymerase responsible for bypassing UV lesions in DNA and its absence results in the variant form of the genetic disorder, xeroderma pigmentosum. Other TLS polymerases have specificities for different types of damage, but their precise roles inside the cell have not yet been established. These polymerases are located in replication factories during DNA replication and the polymerase sliding clamp PCNA plays an important role in mediating switching between different polymerases.

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