hREV3 is essential for error-prone translesion synthesis past UV or benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide-induced DNA lesions in human fibroblasts

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

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Document Type



7,8-Dihydro-7,8-dihydroxybenzo(a)pyrene 9,10-oxide; Cell Line; Cell Survival; DNA; *DNA Damage; DNA-Binding Proteins; DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase; Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase; Mutagenesis; Mutagens; RNA, Antisense; Ultraviolet Rays


Cell Biology


In S. cerevisiae, the REV3 gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of polymerase zeta, is involved in translesion synthesis and required for the production of mutations induced by ultraviolet radiation (UV) photoproducts and other DNA fork-blocking lesions, and for the majority of spontaneous mutations. To determine whether hREV3, the human homolog of yeast REV3, is similarly involved in error-prone translesion synthesis past UV photoproducts and other lesions that block DNA replication, an hREV3 antisense construct under the control of the TetP promoter was transfected into an infinite life span human fibroblast cell strain that expresses a high level of tTAk, the activator of that promoter. Three transfectant strains expressing high levels of hREV3 antisense RNA were identified and compared with their parental cell strain for sensitivity to the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of UV. The three hREV3 antisense-expressing cell strains were not more sensitive than the parental strain to the cytotoxic effect of UV, but the frequency of mutants induced by UV in their HPRT gene was significantly reduced, i.e. to 14% that of the parent. Two of these hREV3 antisense-expressing cell strains were compared with the parental strain for sensitivity to (+/-)-7beta,8alpha-dihydroxy-9alpha,10alpha-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo [a]pyrene (BPDE). They were not more sensitive than the parent strain to the cytotoxic effect of BPDE, but the frequency of mutants induced was significantly reduced, i.e. in one strain, to 17% that of the parent, and in the other, to 24%. DNA sequencing showed that the kinds of mutations induced by BPDE in the parental and the derivative strains did not differ and were similar to those found previously with finite life span human fibroblasts. The data strongly support the hypothesis that hRev3 plays a critical role in the induction of mutations by UV or BPDE. Because the level of hRev3 protein in human fibroblasts is below the level of antibody detection, it was not possible to demonstrate that the decrease in mutagenesis reflected decreased hRev3 protein. However, the conclusion is supported by the fact that in a similar study with a strain expressing a high level of antisense hREV1, a very similar result was obtained, i.e. UV or BPDE mutagenesis was virtually eliminated.


Mutat Res. 2002 Dec 29;510(1-2):71-80.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Mutation research

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