Structural basis of DNA synthesis opposite 8-oxoguanine by human PrimPol primase-polymerase

Olga Rechkoblit, Robert E. Johnson, Yogesh K. Gupta, Louise Prakash, Satya Prakash, Aneel K. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


PrimPol is a human DNA polymerase-primase that localizes to mitochondria and nucleus and bypasses the major oxidative lesion 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (oxoG) via translesion synthesis, in mostly error-free manner. We present structures of PrimPol insertion complexes with a DNA template-primer and correct dCTP or erroneous dATP opposite the lesion, as well as extension complexes with C or A as a 3′−terminal primer base. We show that during the insertion of C and extension from it, the active site is unperturbed, reflecting the readiness of PrimPol to accommodate oxoG(anti). The misinsertion of A opposite oxoG(syn) also does not alter the active site, and is likely less favorable due to lower thermodynamic stability of the oxoG(syn)•A base-pair. During the extension step, oxoG(syn) induces an opening of its base-pair with A or misalignment of the 3′-A primer terminus. Together, the structures show how PrimPol accurately synthesizes DNA opposite oxidatively damaged DNA in human cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4020
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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