We isolated active mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA polymerase α that were associated with a defect in error discrimination. Among them, L868F DNA polymerase α has a spontaneous error frequency of 3 in 100 nucleotides and 570-fold lower replication fidelity than wild-type (WT) polymerase α. In vivo, mutant DNA polymerases confer a mutator phenotype and are synergistic with msh2 or msh6, suggesting that DNA polymerase α-dependent replication errors are recognized and repaired by mismatch repair. In vitro, L868F DNA polymerase α catalyzes efficient bypass of a cis-syn cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer, extending the 3′ T 26,000-fold more efficiently than the WT. Phe34 is equivalent to residue Leu868 in translesion DNA polymerase η, and the F34L mutant of S. cerevisiae DNA polymerase η has reduced translesion DNA synthesis activity in vitro. These data suggest that high-fidelity DNA synthesis by DNA polymerase α is required for genomic stability in yeast. The data also suggest that the phenylalanine and leucine residues in translesion and replicative DNA polymerases, respectively, might have played a role in the functional evolution of these enzyme classes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology