Document Type


Publication Date


MeSH Terms

DNA Polymerase beta

Subject: LCSH

DNA repair


Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Since its discovery and purification in 1971, DNA polymerase ß (Pol ߆) is one of the most well-studied DNA polymerases. Pol ß is a key enzyme in the base excision repair (BER) pathway that functions in gap filling DNA synthesis subsequent to the excision of damaged DNA bases. A major focus of our studies is on the cellular roles of Pol ß. We have shown that germline and tumor-associated variants of Pol ß catalyze aberrant BER that leads to genomic instability and cellular transformation. Our studies suggest that Pol ß is critical for the maintenance of genomic stability and that it is a tumor suppressor. We have also shown that Pol ß functions during Prophase i of meiosis. Pol ß localizes to the synaptonemal complex and is critical for removal of the Spo11 complex from the 5’ ends of double-strand breaks. Studies with Pol ß mutant mice are currently being undertaken to more clearly understand the function of Pol ß during meiosis. in this review, we will highlight our contributions from our studies of Pol ß germline and cancer-associated variants.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License, which permits for noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any digital medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not altered in any way.


10.1371/journal. pgen.1005181

Publisher Citation

Ray S., Menezes M.R., Senejani A., Sweasy J.B. “Cellular Roles of DNA Polymerase Beta” Yale J Biol Med 2013 Dec 13;86(4):463-469 Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine