DNA polymerase beta overexpression stimulates the Rad51-dependent homologous recombination in mammalian cells.

Abstract:

Overexpression of DNA polymerase beta (polbeta), an error-prone DNA repair enzyme, has been shown to result in mutagenesis, aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. To further investigate the molecular basis leading to cancer-associated genetic changes, we examined whether the DNA polbeta could affect homologous recombination (HR). Using mammalian cells carrying an intrachromosomal recombination marker we showed that the DNA polbeta overexpression increased the HR mostly by enhancing gene conversion. Concomitantly, we observed the generation of DNA strand breaks as well as a DNA polbeta-dependent formation of Rad51 foci. The stimulation of HR was abolished by the coexpression of a dominant negative form of Rad51, suggesting that the Rad51 was involved in the increased HR events. The expression of different DNA polbeta mutants lacking polymerase activity did not result in HR stimulation, indicating that the DNA synthesis activity of DNA polbeta was related to this phenotype. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of the genetic instability observed in DNA polbeta overexpressing tumour cells.

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