Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Human Pol ζ purified with accessory subunits is active in translesion DNA synthesis and complements Pol η in cisplatin bypass.

PMID 24449906


DNA polymerase ζ (Pol ζ) is a eukaryotic B-family DNA polymerase that specializes in translesion synthesis and is essential for normal embryogenesis. At a minimum, Pol ζ consists of a catalytic subunit Rev3 and an accessory subunit Rev7. Mammalian Rev3 contains >3,000 residues and is twice as large as the yeast homolog. To date, no vertebrate Pol ζ has been purified for biochemical characterization. Here we report purification of a series of human Rev3 deletion constructs expressed in HEK293 cells and identification of a minimally catalytically active human Pol ζ variant. With a tagged form of an active Pol ζ variant, we isolated two additional accessory subunits of human Pol ζ, PolD2 and PolD3. The purified four-subunit Pol ζ4 (Rev3-Rev7-PolD2-PolD3) is much more efficient and more processive at bypassing a 1,2-intrastrand d(GpG)-cisplatin cross-link than the two-subunit Pol ζ2 (Rev3-Rev7). We show that complete bypass of cisplatin lesions requires Pol η to insert dCTP opposite the 3' guanine and Pol ζ4 to extend the primers.