Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is a DNA polymerase cofactor and regulator of replication-linked functions. Upon DNA damage, yeast and vertebrate PCNA is modified at the conserved lysine K164 by ubiquitin, which mediates error-prone replication across lesions via translesion polymerases. We investigated the role of PCNA ubiquitination in variants of the DT40 B cell line that are mutant in K164 of PCNA or in Rad18, which is involved in PCNA ubiquitination. Remarkably, the PCNAK164R mutation not only renders cells sensitive to DNA-damaging agents, but also strongly reduces activation induced deaminase-dependent single-nucleotide substitutions in the immunoglobulin light-chain locus. This is the first evidence, to our knowledge, that vertebrates exploit the PCNA-ubiquitin pathway for immunoglobulin hypermutation, most likely through the recruitment of error-prone DNA polymerases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)