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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes thirteen essential proteins of the oxidative phosphorylation system, responsible for the major production of ATP in the cell. Therefore, damages to the mitochondrial genome result in energy deprivation, which may in turn onset human diseases. Notably, due to its proximity to the electron transport chain, mtDNA remains exposed to damage by reactive oxygen species, thus the maintenance of its integrity requires a robust repair system. Until recently, DNA polymerase gamma (Pol γ) has been the only polymerase identified in mitochondria, bearing responsibility for efficient replication as well as post-replication repair of the genome. We have previously suggested that the division of the roles of Pol γ may be controlled by the association of its catalytic subunit, Pol γA, with the accessory subunit Pol γB, such that the holoenzyme is engaged in the processive mtDNA replication, whereas, alone, Pol γA may serve the repair processes. Recently, the major repair polymerase of the nucleus, Pol β, has been discovered to also localize in mitochondria, which raises the question for its competition or cooperation with Pol γ in the mtDNA repair processes. To address this, we have tested in vitro the efficiency of DNA synthesis by the two polymerases, separately and in combination, using various DNA substrates. In agreement with previous reports, we did not observe any indication of a functional interaction between the Pol γ holoenzyme and Pol β. We did, however, observe a cooperative activity of Pol β with the Pol γA subunit. In conclusion, our results suggest that the repair of mtDNA may entail a synergistic activity of the catalytic subunit of Pol γ and Pol β. © FASEB.


Carolina de Bovi Pontes, Cody Jefferys, Muhamad Bedwan, Elena J Ciesielska, Grzegorz L Ciesielski. Implications of DNA Polymerase Gamma in the Repair of the Mitochondrial Genome. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2022 May;36 Suppl 1

PMID: 35556473

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