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Replicative DNA polymerases are blocked at DNA lesions. Synthesis past DNA damage requires the replacement of the replicative polymerase by one of a group of specialised translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases, most of which belong to the Y-family. Each of these has different substrate specificities for different types of damage. In eukaryotes mono-ubiquitination of PCNA plays a crucial role in the switch from replicative to TLS polymerases at stalled forks. All the Y-family polymerases have ubiquitin binding sites that increase their binding affinity for ubiquitinated PCNA at the sites of stalled forks.

Original publication




Journal article


DNA Repair (Amst)

Publication Date





891 - 899


Animals, DNA Repair, DNA Replication, DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase, Humans, Models, Biological, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen, Ubiquitin