Volume 14 (2017) Pages 199-205
DNA damage tolerance (DDT) is a cell function to avoid replication arrest by DNA damage during DNA replication. DDT includes two pathways, translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) and template-switched DNA synthesis (TS). DDT is regulated by ubiquitination of proliferating cell nuclear antigen that binds to double-stranded DNA and functions as scaffold protein for DNA metabolism. TLS is transient DNA synthesis using damaged DNA as a template by error-prone DNA polymerases termed TLS polymerases specialized for DNA damage. TS, in which one newly synthesized strand is utilized as an undamaged template for replication by replicative polymerases, is error-free process. Thus, DDT is not inherently a repair pathway. DDT is a mechanism to tolerate DNA damage, giving priority to DNA synthesis and enabling finish of DNA replication for cell survival and genome stability. DDT is associated with cancer development and thus is of great interest in drug discovery for cancer therapy. This review article describes recent progress in structural studies on protein-protein and protein-DNA complexes involved in TLS and TS, providing the molecular mechanisms of interactions in DDT.