Temporally distinct post-replicative repair mechanisms fill PRIMPOL-dependent ssDNA gaps in human cells

Stephanie Tirman, Annabel Quinet, Matthew Wood, Alice Meroni, Emily Cybulla, Jessica Jackson, Silvia Pegoraro, Antoine Simoneau, Lee Zou, Alessandro Vindigni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


PRIMPOL repriming allows DNA replication to skip DNA lesions, leading to ssDNA gaps. These gaps must be filled to preserve genome stability. Using a DNA fiber approach to directly monitor gap filling, we studied the post-replicative mechanisms that fill the ssDNA gaps generated in cisplatin-treated cells upon increased PRIMPOL expression or when replication fork reversal is defective because of SMARCAL1 inactivation or PARP inhibition. We found that a mechanism dependent on the E3 ubiquitin ligase RAD18, PCNA monoubiquitination, and the REV1 and POLζ translesion synthesis polymerases promotes gap filling in G2. The E2-conjugating enzyme UBC13, the RAD51 recombinase, and REV1-POLζ are instead responsible for gap filling in S, suggesting that temporally distinct pathways of gap filling operate throughout the cell cycle. Furthermore, we found that BRCA1 and BRCA2 promote gap filling by limiting MRE11 activity and that simultaneously targeting fork reversal and gap filling enhances chemosensitivity in BRCA-deficient cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4026-4040.e8
JournalMolecular cell
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 7 2021


  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • DNA damage tolerance
  • DNA replication
  • genome stability
  • post-replicative repair
  • replication stress
  • ssDNA gaps
  • translesion synthesis polymerases


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