In response to DNA damage, TLS (translesion synthesis) allows replicative bypass of various DNA lesions, which stall normal replication. TLS is achieved by low-fidelity polymerases harbouring less stringent active sites. In humans, Y-family polymerases together with Polζ (polymerase ζ) are responsible for TLS across different types of damage. Protein–protein interaction contributes significantly to the regulation of TLS. REV1 plays a central role in TLS because it interacts with all other Y-family members and Polζ. Ubiquitin-dependent regulatory mechanisms also play important roles in TLS. Ubiquitin-binding domains have been found in TLS polymerases and they might be required for TLS activity. Mono-ubiquitination of PCNA (proliferating-cell nuclear antigen), the central scaffold of TLS polymerases, is thought to promote TLS. In addition, both non-proteolytic and proteolytic polyubiquitination of PCNA and TLS polymerases has been demonstrated. Owing to their low fidelity, the recruitment of TLS polymerases is strictly restricted to stalled replication forks.

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