Suffering in silence: the tolerance of DNA damage

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Dec;6(12):943-53. doi: 10.1038/nrm1781.


When cells that are actively replicating DNA encounter sites of base damage or strand breaks, replication might stall or arrest. In this situation, cells rely on DNA-damage-tolerance mechanisms to bypass the damage effectively. One of these mechanisms, known as translesion DNA synthesis, is supported by specialized DNA polymerases that are able to catalyse nucleotide incorporation opposite lesions that cannot be negotiated by high-fidelity replicative polymerases. A second category of tolerance mechanism involves alternative replication strategies that obviate the need to replicate directly across sites of template-strand damage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair / physiology*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / physiology*
  • Humans


  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase