Two translesion synthesis DNA polymerase genes, AtPOLH and AtREV1, are involved in development and UV light resistance in Arabidopsis.


Plants are continually exposed to external and internal DNA-damaging agents. Although lesions can be removed by different repair processes, damages often remain in the DNA during replication. Synthesis of template damages requires the replacement of replicative enzymes by translesion synthesis polymerases, which are able to perform DNA synthesis opposite specific lesions. These proteins, in contrast to replicative polymerases, operate at low processivity and fidelity. DNA polymerase eta and Rev 1 are two proteins found in eukaryotes that are involved in translesion DNA synthesis. In Arabidopsis, DNA polymerase eta and Rev 1 are encoded by AtPOLH and AtREV1 genes, respectively. Transgenic plants over-expressing AtPOLH showed increased resistance to ultraviolet light. Only plants with moderate AtREV1 over-expression were obtained, indicating that this enzyme could be toxic at high levels. Transgenic plants that over-expressed or disrupted AtREV1 showed reduced germination percentage, but the former exhibited a higher stem growth rate than the wild type during development.




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