The translesion synthesis (TLS) capacity of the thermostable DNA polymerases Taq, Tte and Tte-seq utilizing a synthetic abasic site, tetrahydrofuran (THF), and an 8-oxoguanine-containing DNA template was investigated. Measurements with human DNA polymerase beta were used as a "positive control". Thermostable DNA polymerases were observed to perform TLS with different specificities on both substrates. With a THF-containing template, dGMP was preferentially inserted by all the DNA polymerases. In the presence of Mn(II) as a cofactor, all the polymerases incorporated dCMP opposite 8-oxoguanine whereas, in the presence of Mg(II) ions, dAMP was incorporated. It was found that none of the thermophilic DNA polymerases utilized dTTP with either an 8-oxoguanine or a THF-containing template. In all cases, DNA duplex containing THF as damage was processed to full length less effectively than DNA duplex containing 8-oxoguanine.