Defective DNA replication can result in substantial increases in the level of genome instability. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the pol3-t allele confers a defect in the catalytic subunit of replicative DNA polymerase delta that results in increased rates of mutagenesis, recombination, and chromosome loss, perhaps by increasing the rate of replicative polymerase failure. The translesion polymerases Pol eta, Pol zeta, and Rev1 are part of a suite of factors in yeast that can act at sites of replicative polymerase failure. While mutants defective in the translesion polymerases alone displayed few defects, loss of Rev1 was found to suppress the increased rates of spontaneous mutation, recombination, and chromosome loss observed in pol3-t mutants. These results suggest that Rev1 may be involved in facilitating mutagenic and recombinagenic responses to the failure of Pol delta. Genome stability, therefore, may reflect a dynamic relationship between primary and auxiliary DNA polymerases.
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