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Mutat Res. 2011 May-Jun;727(3):104-22. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 May 5.

Postreplication repair mechanisms in the presence of DNA adducts in Escherichia coli.

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CNRS-FRE3211, IREBS, BP 10413, F-67412 Illkirch-Cedex, France.


During bacterial replication, DNA polymerases may encounter DNA lesions that block processive DNA synthesis. Uncoupling the replicative helicase from the stalled DNA polymerase results in the formation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) gaps, which are repaired by postreplication repair (PRR), a process that involves at least three mechanisms that collectively remove, circumvent or bypass lesions. RecA mediated excision repair (RAMER) and homologous recombination (HR) are strand-exchange mechanisms that appear to be the predominant strategies for gap repair in the absence of prolonged SOS induction. During RAMER, RecA mediates pairing of damaged ssDNA with an undamaged homologous duplex and subsequent exchange of strands between the damaged and undamaged DNA. Repair of the lesion occurs in the context of the strand-exchange product and is initiated by UvrABC excinuclease; the resulting patch is filled by DNA synthesis using the complementary strand of the homologous duplex as a template. HR uses a complementary strand of an undamaged homologous duplex as a transient template for DNA synthesis. HR requires the formation and resolution of Holliday junctions, and is a mechanism to circumvent the lesion; lesions persisting in one of the daughter DNA duplexes will normally be repaired prior to subsequent rounds of replication/cell division. Translesion DNA Synthesis (TLS) does not involve strand-exchange mechanisms; it is carried out by specialized DNA polymerases that are able to catalyze nucleotide incorporation opposite lesions that cannot be bypassed by high-fidelity replicative polymerases. Maximum levels of TLS occur during prolonged SOS induction generally associated with increased mutagenesis. RAMER, HR and TLS are alternative mechanisms for processing a common intermediate-the ssDNA gap containing a RecA nucleofilament. The actual pathway that is utilized will be strongly influenced by multiple factors, including the blocking/coding capacity of the lesion, the nature of the gene products that can be assembled at the ssDNA gap, the availability of a homologous partner for RAMER and HR, and protein:protein interactions and post-translational modifications that modulate the mutagenic activity of Pol-IV and Pol-V.

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