Received August 2, 2010; Revision received October 20, 2010
This review describes the properties of some specialized DNA polymerases participating in translesion synthesis of DNA. Special attention is given to these properties in vivo. DNA polymerase iota (Polι) of mammals has very unusual features and is extremely error-prone. Based on available data, a hypothesis is proposed explaining how mammalian cells can explore the unusual features of DNA Polι to bypass DNA damages and to simultaneously prevent its mutagenic potential.
KEY WORDS: DNA translesion synthesis, error-prone DNA polymerase, DNA polymerase ι