The DNA polymerase activity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rev1 is biologically significant.

Abstract:

A cell's ability to tolerate DNA damage is directly connected to the human development of diseases and cancer. To better understand the processes underlying mutagenesis, we studied the cell's reliance on the potentially error-prone translesion synthesis (TLS), and an error-free, template-switching pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The primary proteins mediating S. cerevisiae TLS are three DNA polymerases (Pols): Rev1, Pol zeta (Rev3/7), and Pol eta (Rad30), all with human homologs. Rev1's noncatalytic role in recruiting other DNA polymerases is known to be important for TLS. However, the biological significance of Rev1's unusual conserved DNA polymerase activity, which inserts dC, is much less well understood. Here, we demonstrate that inactivating Rev1's DNA polymerase function sensitizes cells to both chronic and acute exposure to 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO) but not to UV or cisplatin. Full Rev1-dependent resistance to 4-NQO, however, also requires the additional Rev1 functions. When error-free tolerance is disrupted through deletion of MMS2, Rev1's catalytic activity is more vital for 4-NQO resistance, possibly explaining why the biological significance of Rev1's catalytic activity has been elusive. In the presence or absence of Mms2-dependent error-free tolerance, the catalytic dead strain of Rev1 exhibits a lower 4-NQO-induced mutation frequency than wild type. Furthermore, Pol zeta, but not Pol eta, also contributes to 4-NQO resistance. These results show that Rev1's catalytic activity is important in vivo when the cell has to cope with specific DNA lesions, such as N(2)-dG.

Polymerases:

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