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Mutat Res. 2006 Jul 25;599(1-2):58-65. Epub 2006 Feb 10.

The role of DNA polymerase iota in UV mutational spectra.

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Division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


UVB (280-320 nm) and UVC (200-280 nm) irradiation generate predominantly cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and (6-4) photoproducts in DNA. CPDs are thought to be responsible for most of the UV-induced mutations. Thymine-thymine CPDs, and probably also CPDs containing cytosine, are replicated in vivo in a largely accurate manner by a DNA polymerase eta (Pol eta) dependent process. Pol eta is a DNA damage-tolerant and error-prone DNA polymerase encoded by the POLH (XPV) gene in humans. Another member of the Y family of error-prone DNA polymerases is POLI encoding DNA polymerase iota (Pol iota). In order to clarify the specific role of Pol iota in UV mutagenesis, we have used an siRNA knockdown approach in combination with a supF shuttle vector which replicates in mammalian cells, similar as we have previously done for Pol eta. Synthetic RNA duplexes were used to efficiently inhibit Pol iota expression in 293 T cells. The supF shuttle vector was irradiated with 254 nm UVC and replicated in 293 T cells in presence of anti-Pol iota siRNA. Surprisingly, there was a consistent reduction of recovered plasmid from cells with Pol iota knockdown and this was independent of UV irradiation of the plasmid. The supF mutant frequency was unchanged in the siRNA knockdown cells relative to control cells confirming that Pol iota does not play an important role in UV mutagenesis. UV-induced supF mutants were sequenced from siRNA-treated cells and controls. Neither the type of mutations nor their distribution along the supF gene were significantly different between controls and siRNA knockdown cells and were predominantly C to T and CC to TT transitions at dipyrimidine sites. These results show that Pol iota has no significant role in UV lesion bypass and mutagenesis in vivo and provides some initial data suggesting that this polymerase may be involved in replication of extrachromosomal DNA.

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