In yeast, Rev1, Rev3, and Rev7 are involved in translesion synthesis over various kinds of DNA damage and spontaneous and UV-induced mutagenesis. Here, we disrupted Rev1, Rev3, and Rev7 in the chicken B-lymphocyte line DT40. REV1 -/- REV3-/- REV7-/- cells showed spontaneous cell death, chromosomal instability/fragility, and hypersensitivity to various genotoxic treatments as observed in each of the single mutants. Surprisingly, the triple-knockout cells showed a suppressed level of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs), which may reflect postreplication repair events mediated by homologous recombination, while each single mutant showed an elevated SCE level. Furthermore, REV1-/- cells as well as triple mutants showed a decreased level of immunoglobulin gene conversion, suggesting participation of Rev1 in a recombination-based pathway. The present study gives us a new insight into cooperative function of three Rev molecules and the Polζ (Rev3-Rev7)-independent role of Rev1 in vertebrate cells.
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