Replication through an abasic DNA lesion: structural basis for adenine selectivity.


Abasic sites represent the most frequent DNA lesions in the genome ...
Abasic sites represent the most frequent DNA lesions in the genome that have high mutagenic potential and lead to mutations commonly found in human cancers. Although these lesions are devoid of the genetic information, adenine is most efficiently inserted when abasic sites are bypassed by DNA polymerases, a phenomenon termed A-rule. In this study, we present X-ray structures of a DNA polymerase caught while incorporating a nucleotide opposite an abasic site. We found that a functionally important tyrosine side chain directs for nucleotide incorporation rather than DNA. It fills the vacant space of the absent template nucleobase and thereby mimics a pyrimidine nucleobase directing for preferential purine incorporation opposite abasic residues because of enhanced geometric fit to the active site. This amino acid templating mechanism was corroborated by switching to pyrimidine specificity because of mutation of the templating tyrosine into tryptophan. The tyrosine is located in motif B and highly conserved throughout evolution from bacteria to humans indicating a general amino acid templating mechanism for bypass of non-instructive lesions by DNA polymerases at least from this sequence family.



Structure and Structure/Function


new topics/pols set partial results complete validated


No results available for this paper.

Entry validated by:



Using Polbase tables:


Tables may be sorted by clicking on any of the column titles. A second click reverses the sort order. <Ctrl> + click on the column titles to sort by more than one column (e.g. family then name).


It is also possible to filter the table by typing into the search box above the table. This will instantly hide lines from the table that do not contain your search text.