WRN exonuclease imparts high fidelity on translesion synthesis by Y family DNA polymerases

Jung Hoon Yoon, Karthi Sellamuthu, Louise Prakash, Satya Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purified translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases (Pols) replicate through DNA lesions with a low fidelity; however, TLS operates in a predominantly error-free manner in normal human cells. To explain this incongruity, here we determine whether Y family Pols, which play an eminent role in replication through a diversity of DNA lesions, are incorporated into a multiprotein ensemble and whether the intrinsically high error rate of the TLS Pol is ameliorated by the components in the ensemble. To this end, we provide evidence for an indispensable role of Werner syndrome protein (WRN) and WRN-interacting protein 1 (WRNIP1) in Rev1-dependent TLS by Y family Polη, Polι, or Polκ and show that WRN, WRNIP1, and Rev1 assemble together with Y family Pols in response to DNA damage. Importantly, we identify a crucial role of WRN's 3′ → 5′ exonuclease activity in imparting high fidelity on TLS by Y family Pols in human cells, as the Y family Pols that accomplish TLS in an error-free manner manifest high mutagenicity in the absence of WRN's exonuclease function. Thus, by enforcing high fidelity on TLS Pols, TLS mechanisms have been adapted to safeguard against genome instability and tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-232
Number of pages20
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2024


  • DNA lesions
  • DNA repair
  • UV damage
  • Werner syndrome protein WRN
  • Y family DNA polymerases
  • fidelity of translesion synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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