Whole genome RNAi screens reveal a critical role of REV3 in coping with replication stress

Kotov, Ilya N; Siebring-van Olst, Ellen; Knobel, Philip A; van der Meulen-Muileman, Ida H; Felley-Bosco, Emanuela; van Beusechem, Victor W; Smit, Egbert F; Stahel, Rolf A; Marti, Thomas (2014). Whole genome RNAi screens reveal a critical role of REV3 in coping with replication stress. Molecular oncology, 8(8), pp. 1747-1759. Elsevier 10.1016/j.molonc.2014.07.008

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REV3, the catalytic subunit of translesion polymerase zeta (polζ), is commonly associated with DNA damage bypass and repair. Despite sharing accessory subunits with replicative polymerase δ, very little is known about the role of polζ in DNA replication. We previously demonstrated that inhibition of REV3 expression induces persistent DNA damage and growth arrest in cancer cells. To reveal determinants of this sensitivity and obtain insights into the cellular function of REV3, we performed whole human genome RNAi library screens aimed at identification of synthetic lethal interactions with REV3 in A549 lung cancer cells. The top confirmed hit was RRM1, the large subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (RNR), a critical enzyme of de novo nucleotide synthesis. Treatment with the RNR-inhibitor hydroxyurea (HU) synergistically increased the fraction of REV3-deficient cells containing single stranded DNA (ssDNA) as indicated by an increase in replication protein A (RPA). However, this increase was not accompanied by accumulation of the DNA damage marker γH2AX suggesting a role of REV3 in counteracting HU-induced replication stress (RS). Consistent with a role of REV3 in DNA replication, increased RPA staining was confined to HU-treated S-phase cells. Additionally, we found genes related to RS to be significantly enriched among the top hits of the synthetic sickness/lethality (SSL) screen further corroborating the importance of REV3 for DNA replication under conditions of RS.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Thoracic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Marti, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Thomas Michael Marti

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2015 13:26

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 18:09

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

DNA damage, Polymerase zeta, REV3, Replication stress, Translesion synthesis





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