Accurate and efficient bypass of 8,5'-cyclopurine-2'-deoxynucleosides by human and yeast DNA polymerase η

Chem Res Toxicol. 2012 Aug 20;25(8):1682-91. doi: 10.1021/tx3001576. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can be produced during normal aerobic metabolism, can induce the formation of tandem DNA lesions, including 8,5'-cyclo-2'-deoxyadenosine (cyclo-dA) and 8,5'-cyclo-2'-deoxyguanosine (cyclo-dG). Previous studies have shown that cyclo-dA and cyclo-dG accumulate in cells and can block mammalian RNA polymerase II and replicative DNA polymerases. Here, we used primer extension and steady-state kinetic assays to examine the efficiency and fidelity for polymerase η to insert nucleotides opposite, and extend primer past, these cyclopurine lesions. We found that Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human polymerase η inserted 2'-deoxynucleotides opposite cyclo-dA, cyclo-dG and their adjacent 5' nucleosides at fidelities and efficiencies that were similar to those of their respective undamaged nucleosides. Moreover, the yeast enzyme exhibited similar processivity in DNA synthesis on templates housing a cyclo-dA or cyclo-dG to those carrying an unmodified dA or dG; the human polymerase, however, dissociated from the primer-template complex after inserting one or two additional nucleotides after the lesion. Pol η's accurate and efficient bypass of cyclo-dA and cyclo-dG indicates that this polymerase is likely responsible for error-free bypass of these lesions, whereas mutagenic bypass of these lesions may involve other translesion synthesis DNA polymerases. Together, our results suggested that pol η may have an additional function in cells, i.e., to alleviate the cellular burden of endogenously induced DNA lesions, including cyclo-dA and cyclo-dG.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • DNA Adducts / chemistry
  • DNA Adducts / metabolism
  • DNA Primers / metabolism
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Deoxyadenosines / chemistry*
  • Deoxyadenosines / metabolism
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxyguanosine / chemistry
  • Deoxyguanosine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*


  • DNA Adducts
  • DNA Primers
  • Deoxyadenosines
  • 8,5'-cyclo-2'-deoxyguanosine
  • 8,5'-cyclo-2'-deoxyadenosine
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Rad30 protein
  • Deoxyguanosine