Alteration of ultraviolet-induced mutagenesis in yeast through molecular modulation of the REV3 and REV7 gene expression

Mutat Res. 2000 Oct 16;461(2):133-43. doi: 10.1016/s0921-8777(00)00047-1.


DNA damage can lead to mutations during replication. The damage-induced mutagenesis pathway is an important mechanism that fixes DNA lesions into mutations. DNA polymerase zeta (Pol zeta), formed by Rev3 and Rev7 protein complex, and Rev1 are components of the damage-induced mutagenesis pathway. Since mutagenesis is an important factor during the initiation and progression of human cancer, we postulate that this mutagenesis pathway may provide an inhibiting target for cancer prevention and therapy. In this study, we tested if UV-induced mutagenesis can be altered by molecular modulation of Rev3 enzyme levels using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a eukaryotic model system. Reducing the REV3 expression in yeast cells through molecular techniques was employed to mimic Pol zeta inhibition. Lower levels of Pol zeta significantly decreased UV-induced mutation frequency, thus achieving inhibition of mutagenesis. In contrast, elevating the Pol zeta level by enhanced expression of both REV3 and REV7 genes led to a approximately 3-fold increase in UV-induced mutagenesis as determined by the arg4-17 mutation reversion assays. In vivo, UV lesion bypass by Pol zeta requires the Rev1 protein. Even overexpression of Pol zeta could not alleviate the defective UV mutagenesis in the rev1 mutant cells. These observations provide evidence that the mutagenesis pathway could be used as a target for inhibiting damage-induced mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mutagenesis*
  • Nucleotidyltransferases*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / radiation effects*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • REV7 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • REV1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • REV3 protein, S cerevisiae