Roles of yeast DNA polymerases delta and zeta and of Rev1 in the bypass of abasic sites

Genes Dev. 2001 Apr 15;15(8):945-54. doi: 10.1101/gad.882301.


Abasic (AP) sites are one of the most frequently formed lesions in DNA, and they present a strong block to continued synthesis by the replicative DNA machinery. Here we show efficient bypass of an AP site by the combined action of yeast DNA polymerases delta and zeta. In this reaction, Poldelta inserts an A nucleotide opposite the AP site, and Polzeta subsequently extends from the inserted nucleotide. Consistent with these observations, sequence analyses of mutations in the yeast CAN1s gene indicate that A is the nucleotide inserted most often opposite AP sites. The nucleotides C, G, and T are also incorporated, but much less frequently. Enzymes such as Rev1 and Poleta may contribute to the insertion of these other nucleotides; the predominant role of Rev1 in AP bypass, however, is likely to be structural. Steady-state kinetic analyses show that Polzeta is highly inefficient in incorporating nucleotides opposite the AP site, but it efficiently extends from nucleotides, particularly an A, inserted opposite this lesion. Thus, in eukaryotes, bypass of an AP site requires the sequential action of two DNA polymerases, wherein the extension step depends solely upon Polzeta, but the insertion step can be quite varied, involving not only the predominant action of the replicative DNA polymerase, Poldelta, but also the less prominent role of various translesion synthesis polymerases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA Polymerase III / genetics
  • DNA Polymerase III / physiology*
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / physiology*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagens
  • Mutation
  • Nucleotidyltransferases*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Yeasts


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Mutagens
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate
  • DNA polymerase zeta
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • REV1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase