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Annu Rev Genet. 2016 Nov 23;50:393-421.

Eukaryotic DNA Polymerases in Homologous Recombination.

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Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155; email:
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Davis, California 95616; email:
College of Health Sciences, California Northstate University, Rancho Cordova, California 95670.
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616.


Homologous recombination (HR) is a central process to ensure genomic stability in somatic cells and during meiosis. HR-associated DNA synthesis determines in large part the fidelity of the process. A number of recent studies have demonstrated that DNA synthesis during HR is conservative, less processive, and more mutagenic than replicative DNA synthesis. In this review, we describe mechanistic features of DNA synthesis during different types of HR-mediated DNA repair, including synthesis-dependent strand annealing, break-induced replication, and meiotic recombination. We highlight recent findings from diverse eukaryotic organisms, including humans, that suggest both replicative and translesion DNA polymerases are involved in HR-associated DNA synthesis. Our focus is to integrate the emerging literature about DNA polymerase involvement during HR with the unique aspects of these repair mechanisms, including mutagenesis and template switching.


DNA synthesis; genome stability; mutagenesis; template switching

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