The biochemical requirements of DNA polymerase V-mediated translesion synthesis revisited.

Abstract:

In addition to replicative DNA polymerases, cells contain specialized DNA polymerases involved in processes such as lesion tolerance, mutagenesis and immunoglobulin diversity. In Escherichia coli, DNA polymerase V (Pol V), encoded by the umuDC locus, is involved in translesion synthesis (TLS) and mutagenesis. Genetic studies have established that mutagenesis requires both UmuC and a proteolytic product of UmuD (UmuD'). In addition, RecA protein and the replication processivity factor, the beta-clamp, were genetically found to be essential co-factors for mutagenesis. Here, we have reconstituted Pol V-mediated bypass of three common replication-blocking lesions, namely the two major UV-induced lesions and a guanine adduct formed by a chemical carcinogen (G-AAF) under conditions that fulfil these in vivo requirements. Two co-factors are essential for efficient Pol V-mediated lesion bypass: (i) a DNA substrate onto which the beta-clamp is stably loaded; and (ii) an extended single-stranded RecA/ATP filament assembled downstream from the lesion site. For efficient bypass, Pol V needs to interact simultaneously with the beta-clamp and the 3' tip of the RecA filament. Formation of an extended RecA/ATP filament and stable loading of the beta-clamp are best achieved on long single-stranded circular DNA templates. In contrast to previously published data, the single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) is not absolutely required for Pol V-mediated lesion bypass provided ATP, instead of ATPgammaS, activates the RecA filament. Further discrepancies with the existing literature are explainable by the use of either inadequate DNA substrates or a UmuC fusion protein instead of native Pol V.

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