Polζ is an error-prone DNA polymerase that is critical for embryonic development and maintenance of genome stability. To analyze its suggested role in somatic hypermutation (SHM) and possible contribution to DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair in class switch recombination (CSR), we ablated Rev3, the catalytic subunit of Polζ, selectively in mature B cells in vivo. The frequency of somatic mutation was reduced in the mutant cells but the pattern of SHM was unaffected. Rev3-deficient B cells also exhibited pronounced chromosomal instability and impaired proliferation capacity. Although the data thus argue against a direct role of Polζ in SHM, Polζ deficiency directly interfered with CSR in that activated Rev3-deficient B cells exhibited a reduced efficiency of CSR and an increased frequency of DNA breaks in the immunoglobulin H locus. Based on our results, we suggest a nonredun- dant role of Polζ in DNA DSB repair through nonhomologous end joining.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy