Replication of O6-methylguanine-containing DNA by repair and replicative DNA polymerases

J Biol Chem. 1996 Aug 16;271(33):20088-95. doi: 10.1074/jbc.271.33.20088.


The biological consequences of O6-methylguanine (m6G) in DNA are well recognized. When template m6G is encountered by DNA polymerases, replication is hindered and trans-lesion replication results in the preferential incorporation of dTMP opposite template m6G. Thus, unrepaired m6G in DNA is both cytotoxic and mutagenic. Yet, cell lines tolerant to m6G in DNA have been isolated, which indicates that some cellular DNA polymerases may replicate m6G-containing DNA with reasonable efficiency. Previous reports suggested that mammalian pol beta could not replicate m6G-containing DNA, but we find that pol beta can catalyze trans-lesion replication; however, the lesion must reside in the optimal context for pol beta activity, single- or short nucleotide gapped substrates. Primed single-stranded DNA templates, with or without template m6G, were poor substrates for pol beta as reported in earlier studies. In contrast, trans-lesion replication by bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase was observed for primed single-stranded DNA templates. Replication of m6G-containing DNA by T4 DNA polymerase required the gp45 accessory protein that clamps the polymerase to the DNA template. The rate-limiting step in replicating m6G-containing DNAs by both DNA polymerases tested was incorporation of dTMP across from the lesion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Adducts*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism


  • DNA Adducts
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Viral Proteins
  • gene 43 protein, Enterobacteria phage T4
  • Guanine
  • O-(6)-methylguanine
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase