Structural basis for novel interactions between human translesion synthesis polymerases and proliferating cell nuclear antigen

Asami Hishiki, Hiroshi Hashimoto, Tomo Hanafusa, Keijiro Kamei, Eiji Ohashi, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Haruo Ohmori, Mamoru Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Translesion synthesis (TLS) is a DNA damage tolerance mechanism that allows continued DNA synthesis, even in the presence of damaged DNA templates. Mammals have multiple DNApolymerases specialized for TLS, including Polη, Polι, and PolΚ. These enzymes show preferential bypass for different lesions. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), which functions as a sliding clamp for the replicative polymerase Polδ, also interacts with the three TLS polymerases. Although many PCNA-binding proteins have a highly conserved sequence termed the PCNA-interacting protein box (PIP-box), Polη, Polι, and PolΚ have a noncanonical PIP-box sequence. In response to DNA damage, Lys-164 of PCNA undergoes ubiquitination by the RAD6-RAD18 complex, and the ubiquitination is considered to facilitate TLS. Consistent with this, these three TLS polymerases have one or two ubiquitin binding domains and are recruited to replication forks via interactions with ubiquitinated PCNA involving the noncanonical PIP-box and ubiquitin binding domain. However, it is unclearhowtheseTLSpolymerases interact with PCNA. To address the structural basis for interactions between different TLS polymerases and PCNA, we determined crystal structures of PCNA bound to peptides containing the noncanonical PIP-box of these polymerases. Weshow that the three PIP-box peptides interact with PCNA in different ways, both from one another and from canonical PIP-box peptides. Especially, the PIP-box of Polι adopts a novel structure. Furthermore, these structures enable us to speculatehowtheseTLS polymerases interact with Lys-164-monoubiquitinated PCNA. Our results will provide clues to understanding the mechanism of preferential recruitment of TLS polymerases to the stalled forks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10552-10560
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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