Efficiency, fidelity and enzymatic switching during translesion DNA synthesis

Cell Cycle. 2004 May;3(5):580-3. Epub 2004 May 31.


More than half of the 16 human DNA polymerases may have some role in DNA replication and potentially modulate the biological effects of DNA template lesions that impede replication fork progression. As one approach to understand how multiple polymerases are coordinated at the fork, we recently quantified the efficiency and fidelity with which one particular translesion synthesis enzyme, human DNA polymerase eta, copies templates containing cis-syn thymine dimers. Several observations from that study were unanticipated. Here we discuss the structural and biological implications of those results in light of earlier studies of translesion synthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / chemistry
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Pyrimidine Dimers


  • Pyrimidine Dimers
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Rad30 protein