Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) instability is associated with over 42 neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, for which the molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. We have shown that the DNA base excision repair (BER) pathway and its central component, DNA polymerase (pol ), in particular, its polymerase activity plays an active role in regulating somatic TNR instability. Herein, we revealed a unique role of the pol dRP lyase in preventing somatic TNR instability. We found that deficiency of pol deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) lyase activity locked the pol dRP lyase domain to a dRP group, and this ‘tethered’ pol to its template forcing the polymerase to perform a processive DNA synthesis. This subsequently promoted DNA strand slippage allowing pol to skip over a template loop and causing TNR deletion. We showed that the effects were eliminated by complementation of the dRP lyase deficiency with wild-type pol protein. The results indicate that pol dRP lyase activity restrained the pol -dRP interaction to suppress a pol processive DNA synthesis, thereby preventing TNR deletion. This further implicates a potential of pol dRP lyase inhibition as a novel treatment of TNR-expansion diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas