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EMBO J. 2008 Nov 5;27(21):2883-95. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.210. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Human DNA polymerase iota protects cells against oxidative stress.

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique FRE2939, Unit of genetic stability and oncogenesis, Institut Gustave Roussy, Université Paris-Sud, Villejuif, France.


Human DNA polymerase iota (poliota) is a unique member of the Y-family of specialised polymerases that displays a 5'deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) lyase activity. Although poliota is well conserved in higher eukaryotes, its role in mammalian cells remains unclear. To investigate the biological importance of poliota in human cells, we generated fibroblasts stably downregulating poliota (MRC5-pol iota(KD)) and examined their response to several types of DNA-damaging agents. We show that cell lines downregulating poliota exhibit hypersensitivity to DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) or menadione but not to ethylmethane sulphonate (EMS), UVC or UVA. Interestingly, extracts from cells downregulating poliota show reduced base excision repair (BER) activity. In addition, poliota binds to chromatin after treatment of cells with H(2)O(2) and interacts with the BER factor XRCC1. Finally, green fluorescent protein-tagged poliota accumulates at the sites of oxidative DNA damage in living cells. This recruitment is partially mediated by its dRP lyase domain and ubiquitin-binding domains. These data reveal a novel role of human poliota in protecting cells from oxidative damage.

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