The preference for error-free or error-prone postreplication repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae exposed to low-dose methyl methanesulfonate is cell cycle dependent.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Molecular and cellular biology, Volume 33, Issue 8, p.1515-27 (2013)


2013, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Scientific Imaging Core Facility


Cells employ error-free or error-prone postreplication repair (PRR) processes to tolerate DNA damage. Here, we present a genome-wide screen for sensitivity to 0.001% methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). This relatively low dose is of particular interest because wild-type cells exhibit no discernible phenotypes in response to treatment, yet PRR mutants are unique among repair mutants in their exquisite sensitivity to 0.001% MMS; thus, low-dose MMS treatment provides a distinctive opportunity to study postreplication repair processes. We show that upon exposure to low-dose MMS, a PRR-defective rad18Δ mutant stalls into a lengthy G2 arrest associated with the accumulation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) gaps. Consistent with previous results following UV-induced damage, reactivation of Rad18, even after prolonged G2 arrest, restores viability and genome integrity. We further show that PRR pathway preference in 0.001% MMS depends on timing and context; cells preferentially employ the error-free pathway in S phase and do not require MEC1-dependent checkpoint activation for survival. However, when PRR is restricted to the G2 phase, cells utilize REV3-dependent translesion synthesis, which requires a MEC1-dependent delay and results in significant hypermutability.