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Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jul;36(12):3867-78. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn309. Epub 2008 May 22.

Mechanism of double-base lesion bypass catalyzed by a Y-family DNA polymerase.

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Department of Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


As a widely used anticancer drug, cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (cisplatin) reacts with adjacent purine bases in DNA to form predominantly cis-[Pt(NH(3))(2){d(GpG)-N7(1),-N7(2)}] intrastrand cross-links. Drug resistance, one of the major limitations of cisplatin therapy, is partially due to the inherent ability of human Y-family DNA polymerases to perform translesion synthesis in the presence of DNA-distorting damage such as cisplatin-DNA adducts. To better understand the mechanistic basis of translesion synthesis contributing to cisplatin resistance, this study investigated the bypass of a single, site-specifically placed cisplatin-d(GpG) adduct by a model Y-family DNA polymerase, Sulfolobus solfataricus DNA polymerase IV (Dpo4). Dpo4 was able to bypass this double-base lesion, although, the incorporation efficiency of dCTP opposite the first and second cross-linked guanine bases was decreased by 72- and 860-fold, respectively. Moreover, the fidelity at the lesion decreased up to two orders of magnitude. The cisplatin-d(GpG) adduct affected six downstream nucleotide incorporations, but interestingly the fidelity was essentially unaltered. Biphasic kinetic analysis supported a universal kinetic mechanism for the bypass of DNA lesions catalyzed by various translesion DNA polymerases. In conclusion, if human Y-family DNA polymerases adhere to this bypass mechanism, then translesion synthesis by these error-prone enzymes is likely accountable for cisplatin resistance observed in cancer patients.

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