Role for DNA polymerase κ in the processing of N2-N 2-guanine interstrand cross-links

Irina G. Minko, Michael B. Harbut, Ivan D. Kozekov, Albena Kozekova, Petra M. Jakobs, Susan B. Olson, Robb E. Moses, Thomas M. Harris, Carmelo J. Rizzo, R. Stephen Lloyd

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118 Scopus citations


Although there exists compelling genetic evidence for a homologous recombination-independent pathway for repair of interstrand cross-links (ICLs) involving translesion synthesis (TLS), biochemical support for this model is lacking. To identify DNA polymerases that may function in TLS past ICLs, oligodeoxynucleotides were synthesized containing site-specific ICLs in which the linkage was between N2-guanines, similar to crosslinks formed by mitomycin C and enals. Here, data are presented that mammalian cell replication of DNAs containing these lesions was ∼97% accurate. Using a series of oligodeoxynucleotides that mimic potential intermediates in ICL repair, we demonstrate that human polymerase (pol) κ not only catalyzed accurate incorporation opposite the cross-linked guanine but also replicated beyond the lesion, thus providing the first biochemical evidence for TLS past an ICL. The efficiency of TLS was greatly enhanced by truncation of both the 5′ and 3′ ends of the nontemplating strand. Further analyses showed that although yeast Rev1 could incorporate a dCTP opposite the cross-linked guanine, no evidence was found for TLS by pol ζ or a polζ/Rev1 combination. Because pol κ was able to bypass these ICLs, biological evidence for a role for pol κ in tolerating the N2-N2-guanine ICLs was sought; both cell survival and chromosomal stability were adversely affected in pol κ-depleted cells following mitomycin C exposure. Thus, biochemical data and cellular studies both suggest a role for pol κ in the processing of N2-N2-guanine ICLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17075-17082
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 20 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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