Evidence that base stacking potential in annealed 3′ overhangs determines polymerase utilization in yeast nonhomologous end joining

James M. Daley, Thomas E. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) directly rejoins DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) when recombination is not possible. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the DNA polymerase Pol4 is required for gap filling when a short 3′ overhang must prime DNA synthesis. Here, we examined further end variations to test specific hypotheses regarding Pol4 usage in NHEJ in vivo. Surprisingly, Pol4 dependence at 3′ overhangs was reduced when a nonhomologous 5′ flap nucleotide was present across from the gap, even though the mismatched nucleotide was corrected, not incorporated. In contrast, a gap with a 5′ deoxyribosephosphate (dRP) was as Pol4-dependent as a gap with a 5′ phosphate, demonstrating the importance of the downstream base in relaxing the Pol4 requirement. Combined with prior observations of Pol4-independent NHEJ of nicks with 5′ hydroxyls, we suggest that base stacking interactions across the broken strands can stabilize a joint, allowing another polymerase to substitute for Pol4. This model predicts that a unique function of Pol4 is to actively stabilize template strands that lack stacking continuity. We also explored whether NHEJ end processing can occur via short- and long-patch pathways analogous to base excision repair. Results demonstrated that 5′ dRPs could be removed in the absence of Pol4 lyase activity. The 5′ flap endonuclease Rad27 was not required for repair in this or any situation tested, indicating that still other NHEJ 5′ nucleases must exist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalDNA Repair
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DNA polymerase
  • DNA repair
  • Double-strand break
  • Nonhomologous end joining
  • Nuclease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence that base stacking potential in annealed 3′ overhangs determines polymerase utilization in yeast nonhomologous end joining'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this