Y265C DNA Polymerase Beta Knockin Mice Survive Past Birth and Accumulate Base Excision Repair Intermediate Substrates

Document Type


Publication Date


MeSH Terms

DNA Repair, DNA Polymerase beta

Subject: LCSH

DNA repair


Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


DNA is susceptible to damage by a wide variety of chemical agents that are generated either as byproducts of cellular metabolism or exposure to man-made and harmful environments. Therefore, to maintain genomic integrity, having reliable DNA repair systems is important. DNA polymeraseβis known to be a key player in the base excision repair pathway, and mice devoid of DNA polymerase beta do not live beyond a few hours after birth. In this study, we characterized mice harboring an impaired polβvariant. This Y265Cpolβ variant exhibits slow DNA polymerase activity but WT lyase activity and has been shown to be a mutator polymerase. Mice expressing Y265C polβ are born at normal Mendelian ratios. However, they are small, and 60% die within a few hours after birth. Slow proliferation and significantly increased levels of cell death are observed in many organs of the E14 homozygous embryos compared with WT littermates. Mouse embryo fibroblasts prepared from the Y265C polβ embryos proliferate at a rate slower than WT cells and exhibit a gap-filling deficiency during base ex-cision repair. As a result of this, chromosomal aberrations and single- and double-strand breaks are present at significantly higher levels in the homozygous mutant versus WT mouse embryo fibroblasts. This is study in mice is unique in that two enzymatic activities of polβ have been separated; the data clearly demonstrate that the DNA polymerase activity of polβ is essential for survival and genome stability.


This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1200800109/-/DCSupplemental


10. 1073/pnas.1200800109

Publisher Citation

Senejani A.G., Dalal S., Liu Y., Nottoli, T., McGrath J., Clairmont C.S., Sweasy J.B. “Y265C DNA Polymerase Beta Knockin Mice Survive Past Birth and Accumulate Base Excision Repair Intermediate Substrates” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2012 Apr 24; 109(17): 6632-7