Regulation of polymerase exchange between Poleta and Poldelta by monoubiquitination of PCNA and the movement of DNA polymerase holoenzyme

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Apr 8;105(14):5361-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0801310105. Epub 2008 Apr 2.


To ensure efficient and timely replication of genomic DNA, organisms in all three kingdoms of life possess specialized translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) polymerases (Pols) that tolerate various types of DNA lesions. It has been proposed that an exchange between the replicative DNA Pol and the TLS Pol at the site of DNA damage enables lesion bypass to occur. However, to date the molecular mechanism underlying this process is not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrated in a reconstituted system that the exchange of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Poldelta with Poleta requires both the stalling of the holoenzyme and the monoubiquitination of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). A moving Poldelta holoenzyme is refractory to the incoming Poleta. Furthermore, we showed that the Poleta C-terminal PCNA-interacting protein motif is required for the exchange process. We also demonstrated that the second exchange step to bring back Poldelta is prohibited when Lys-164 of PCNA is monoubiquitinated. Thus the removal of the ubiquitin moiety from PCNA is likely required for the reverse exchange step after the lesion bypass synthesis by Poleta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • DNA Polymerase III / metabolism*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Holoenzymes / metabolism
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Ubiquitination*


  • Holoenzymes
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Rad30 protein