Meindert Lamers

DNA replication and translesion synthesis

The genome of a cell is continuously exposed to different compounds and types of radiation that can alter the chemical composition of the DNA. In response, the cell has developed different types of DNA repair mechanisms that can remove the lesion. When the lesion is not removed before replication is initiated, it can result in a block of the replication machinery that can ultimately lead to cell death. To bypass these blocks, specialized translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases are recruited to the site of the lesion. The TLS polymerases are capable of DNA synthesis over the damaged DNA, after which the replicative DNA polymerase can continue normal DNA synthesis. These TLS polymerases are generally error prone and have been implicated in drug resistance in bacteria and in different forms of cancer in humans.

We study the interaction between the DNA replication machinery and the translesion synthesis DNA polymerases, using protein X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and small angle X-ray scattering, as well as multiple biochemical methods.

Selected Papers

Group Members

  • Marike Worrall (nee van Roon)
  • Rafael Fernandez Leiro
  • Soledad Banos Mateos
  • Emma Gleave
  • Gengjing Zhao