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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2009 Mar;73(1):134-54. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00034-08.

Eukaryotic translesion polymerases and their roles and regulation in DNA damage tolerance.

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Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 68, Room 653, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


DNA repair and DNA damage tolerance machineries are crucial to overcome the vast array of DNA damage that a cell encounters during its lifetime. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge about the eukaryotic DNA damage tolerance pathway translesion synthesis (TLS), a process in which specialized DNA polymerases replicate across from DNA lesions. TLS aids in resistance to DNA damage, presumably by restarting stalled replication forks or filling in gaps that remain in the genome due to the presence of DNA lesions. One consequence of this process is the potential risk of introducing mutations. Given the role of these translesion polymerases in mutagenesis, we discuss the significant regulatory mechanisms that control the five known eukaryotic translesion polymerases: Rev1, Pol zeta, Pol kappa, Pol eta, and Pol iota.

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