Projects per year
Faithful copying of the genome is essential for life. In eukaryotes, a single archaeo-eukaryotic primase (AEP), DNA primase, is required for the initiation and progression of DNA replication. Here we have identified additional eukaryotic AEP-like proteins with DNA-dependent primase and/or polymerase activity. Uniquely, the genomes of trypanosomatids, a group of kinetoplastid protozoa of significant medical importance, encode two PrimPol-like (PPL) proteins. In the African trypanosome, PPL2 is a nuclear enzyme present in G 2 phase cells. Following PPL2 knockdown, a cell-cycle arrest occurs after the bulk of DNA synthesis, the DNA damage response is activated, and cells fail to recover. Consistent with this phenotype, PPL2 replicates damaged DNA templates invitro, including templates containing the UV-induced pyrimidine-pyrimidone (6-4) photoproduct. Furthermore, PPL2 accumulates at sites of nuclear DNA damage. Taken together, our results indicate an essential role for PPL2 in postreplication tolerance of endogenous DNA damage, thus allowing completion of genome duplication.