An iron-sulfur cluster in the polymerase domain of yeast DNA polymerase ε

J Mol Biol. 2014 Jan 23;426(2):301-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2013.10.015. Epub 2013 Oct 19.


DNA polymerase ε (Polε) is a multi-subunit polymerase that contributes to genomic stability via its roles in leading strand replication and the repair of damaged DNA. Polε from Saccharomyces cerevisiae is composed of four subunits--Pol2, Dpb2, Dpb3, and Dpb4. Here, we report the presence of a [Fe-S] cluster directly within the active polymerase domain of Pol2 (residues 1-1187). We show that binding of the [Fe-S] cluster is mediated by cysteines in an insertion (Pol2(ins)) that is conserved in Pol2 orthologs but is absent in the polymerase domains of Polα, Polδ, and Polζ. We also show that the [Fe-S] cluster is required for Pol2 polymerase activity but not for its exonuclease activity. Collectively, our work suggests that Polε is perhaps more sensitive than other DNA polymerases to changes in oxidative stress in eukaryotic cells.

Keywords: DNA polymerase; DNA repair; DNA replication; EXAFS; FT-EXAFS; Fe-S cluster; Fourier transform EXAFS; ICP; extended X-ray absorption fine structure; inductively coupled plasma; oxidative stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA Polymerase II / chemistry*
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • Iron / analysis*
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / chemistry*
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Sulfur / analysis*


  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Sulfur
  • Iron
  • DNA Polymerase II