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Processing of DNA lesions by archaeal DNA polymerases from Sulfolobus solfataricus

  • Petr Grúz
  • Masatomi Shimizu
  • Francesca M. Pisani
  • Mariarita De Felice
  • Yusuke Kanke
  • Takehiko Nohmi
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jul 15, 2003
  • Archaeology


Spontaneous damage to DNA as a result of deamination, oxidation and depurination is greatly accelerated at high temperatures. Hyperthermophilic microorganisms constantly exposed to temperatures exceeding 80°C are endowed with powerful DNA repair mechanisms to maintain genome stability. Of particular interest is the processing of DNA lesions during replication, which can result in fixed mutations. The hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus has two functional DNA polymerases, PolB1 and PolY1. We have found that the replicative DNA polymerase PolB1 specifically recognizes the presence of the deaminated bases hypoxanthine and uracil in the template by stalling DNA polymerization 3–4 bases upstream of these lesions and strongly associates with oligonucleotides containing them. PolB1 also stops at 8-oxoguanine and is unable to bypass an abasic site in the template. PolY1 belongs to the family of lesion bypass DNA polymerases and readily bypasses hypoxanthine, uracil and 8-oxoguanine, but not an abasic site, in the template. The specific recognition of deaminated bases by PolB1 may represent an initial step in their repair while PolY1 may be involved in damage tolerance at the replication fork. Additionally, we reveal that the deaminated bases can be introduced into DNA enzymatically, since both PolB1 and PolY1 are able to incorporate the aberrant DNA precursors dUTP and dITP.

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