The roles of translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases in bypassing the C8-2'-deoxyguanosine adduct (dG-C8-IQ) formed by 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), a highly mutagenic and carcinogenic heterocyclic amine found in cooked meats, were investigated. Three plasmid vectors containing the dG-C8-IQ adduct at the G1-, G2- or G3-positions of the NarI site (5'-G1G2CG3CC-3') were replicated in HEK293T cells. Fifty percent of the progeny from the G3 construct were mutants, largely G→T, compared to 18% and 24% from the G1 and G2 constructs, respectively. Mutation frequency (MF) of dG-C8-IQ was reduced by 38-67% upon siRNA knockdown of pol κ, whereas it was increased by 10-24% in pol η knockdown cells. When pol κ and pol ζ were simultaneously knocked down, MF of the G1 and G3 constructs was reduced from 18% and 50%, respectively, to <3%, whereas it was reduced from 24% to <1% in the G2 construct. In vitro TLS using yeast pol ζ showed that it can extend G3*:A pair more efficiently than G3*:C pair, but it is inefficient at nucleotide incorporation opposite dG-C8-IQ. We conclude that pol κ and pol ζ cooperatively carry out the majority of the error-prone TLS of dG-C8-IQ, whereas pol η is involved primarily in its error-free bypass.
© The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.