Error-prone DNA polymerase specifically involved in DNA repair. Plays an important role in translesion synthesis, where the normal high-fidelity DNA polymerases cannot proceed and DNA synthesis stalls. Favors Hoogsteen base-pairing in the active site. Inserts the correct base with high-fidelity opposite an adenosine template. Exhibits low fidelity and efficiency opposite a thymidine template, where it will preferentially insert guanosine. May play a role in hypermutation of immunogobulin genes. Forms a Schiff base with 5'-deoxyribose phosphate at abasic sites, but may not have lyase activity.
Ubiquitous. Highly expressed in testis.
Belongs to the DNA polymerase type-Y family. Contains 1 umuC domain.
The catalytic core consists of fingers, palm and thumb subdomains, but the fingers and thumb subdomains are much smaller than in high-fidelity polymerases; residues from five sequence motifs of the Y-family cluster around an active site cleft that can accommodate DNA and nucleotide substrates with relaxed geometric constraints, with consequently higher rates of misincorporation and low processivity.
Nucleus. Accumulates at replication forks after DNA damage.