Eukaryotic DNA Polymerases in Homologous Recombination

Mitch McVey, Varandt Y. Khodaverdian, Damon Meyer, Paula Gonçalves Cerqueira, Wolf Dietrich Heyer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Homologous recombination (HR) is a central process to ensure genomic stability in somatic cells and during meiosis. HR-associated DNA synthesis determines in large part the fidelity of the process. A number of recent studies have demonstrated that DNA synthesis during HR is conservative, less processive, and more mutagenic than replicative DNA synthesis. In this review, we describe mechanistic features of DNA synthesis during different types of HR-mediated DNA repair, including synthesis-dependent strand annealing, break-induced replication, and meiotic recombination. We highlight recent findings from diverse eukaryotic organisms, including humans, that suggest both replicative and translesion DNA polymerases are involved in HR-associated DNA synthesis. Our focus is to integrate the emerging literature about DNA polymerase involvement during HR with the unique aspects of these repair mechanisms, including mutagenesis and template switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-421
Number of pages29
JournalAnnual Review of Genetics
StatePublished - Nov 23 2016


  • DNA synthesis
  • Genome stability
  • Mutagenesis
  • Template switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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