Mechanism of error-free replication across benzo[a]pyrene stereoisomers by Rev1 DNA polymerase

Olga Rechkoblit, Alexander Kolbanovskiy, Hannah Landes, Nicholas E. Geacintov, Aneel K. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benzo[a]pyrene (BP) is a carcinogen in cigarette smoke which, after metabolic activation, can react with the exocyclic N 2 amino group of guanine to generate four stereoisomeric BP-N 2-dG adducts. Rev1 is unique among translesion synthesis DNA polymerases in employing a protein-template-directed mechanism of DNA synthesis opposite undamaged and damaged guanine. Here we report high-resolution structures of yeast Rev1 with three BP-N 2-dG adducts, namely the 10S (+)-trans-BP-N 2-dG, 10R (+)-cis-BP-N 2-dG, and 10S (-)-cis-BP-N 2-dG. Surprisingly, in all three structures, the bulky and hydrophobic BP pyrenyl residue is entirely solvent-exposed in the major groove of the DNA. This is very different from the adduct alignments hitherto observed in free or protein-bound DNA. All complexes are well poised for dCTP insertion. Our structures provide a view of cis-BP-N 2-dG adducts in a DNA polymerase active site, and offer a basis for understanding error-free replication of the BP-derived stereoisomeric guanine adducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number965
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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