PCNA ubiquitylation: Instructive or permissive to DNA damage tolerance pathways?

Jun Che, Xin Hong, Hai Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA lesions escaping from repair often block the DNA replicative polymerases required for DNA replication and are handled during the S/G2 phases by the DNA damage tolerance (DDT) mechanisms, which include the error-prone translesion synthesis (TLS) and the error-free template switching (TS) pathways. Where the mono-ubiquitylation of PCNA K164 is critical for TLS, the poly-ubiquitylation of the same residue is obligatory for TS. However, it is not known how cells divide the labor between TLS and TS. Due to the fact that the type of DNA lesion significantly influences the TLS and TS choice, we propose that, instead of altering the ratio between the mono-and poly-Ub forms of PCNA, the competition between TLS and TS would automatically determine the selection between the two pathways. Future studies, especially the single integrated lesion “i-Damage” system, would elucidate detailed mechanisms governing the choices of specific DDT pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1543
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage tolerance
  • Pathway choice
  • PCNA ubiquitylation
  • TLS
  • TS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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