PrimPol is a recently described DNA polymerase that has the virtue of initiating DNA synthesis. In addition of being a sensu stricto DNA primase, PrimPol's polymerase activity has a large capacity to tolerate different kind of lesions. The different strategies used by PrimPol for DNA damage tolerance are based on its capacity to "read" certain lesions, to skip unreadable lesions, and as an ultimate solution, to restart DNA synthesis beyond the lesion thus acting as a TLS primase. This lesion bypass potential, revised in this article, is strengthened by the preferential use of moderate concentrations of manganese ions as the preferred metal activator. We show here that PrimPol is able to extend RNA primers with ribonucleotides, even when bypassing 8oxoG lesions, suggesting a potential new scenario for PrimPol as a TLS polymerase assisting transcription. We also show that PrimPol displays a high degree of versatility to accept or induce distortions of both primer and template strands, creating alternative alignments based on microhomology that would serve to skip unreadable lesions and to connect separate strands. In good agreement, PrimPol is highly prone to generate indels at short nucleotide repeats. Finally, an evolutionary view of the relationship between translesion synthesis and primase functions is briefly discussed.
Keywords: 8oxoG; DNA polymerase; DNA primase; Lesion bypass; PrimPol; Translesion synthesis.
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