Biochemical Reconstitution of UV-Induced Mutational Processes

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. We reconstituted two biochemical processes that may contribute to UV-induced mutagenesis in vitro and analysed the mutational profiles in the products. One process is translesion synthesis (TLS) by DNA polymerases (Pol) δ, η and ζ, which creates C>T transitions at pyrimidine dimers by incorporating two dAMPs opposite of the dimers. The other process involves spontaneous deamination of cytosine, producing uracil in pyrimidine dimers, followed by monomerization of the dimers by secondary UV irradiation, and DNA synthesis by Pol δ. The mutational spectrum resulting from deamination without translesion synthesis is similar to a mutational signature found in melanomas, suggesting that cytosine deamination encountered by the replicative polymerase has a prominent role in melanoma development. However, CC>TT dinucleotide substitution, which is also commonly observed in melanomas, was produced almost exclusively by TLS. We propose that both TLS-dependent and deamination-dependent mutational processes are likely involved in UV-induced melanoma development.