Title: “Polymerase Theta: A Cancer Drug target with Reverse Transcriptase Activity”


Abstract: DNA polymerase theta (Polq) is a validated anti-cancer drug target that is synthetic lethal with homologous recombination (HR) factors and other DNA repair proteins, and confers cellular resistance to various genotoxic cancer therapies. POLQ is a unique gene in higher eukaryotic cells since it is the only known helicase-polymerase fusion protein. Mechanisms of Polq polymerase and helicase activities in DNA repair will be discussed, as well as it’s newly discovered reverse transcriptase activity which requires structural transformation of the polymerase domain to accommodate a wider DNA/RNA template. Finally, the potential of Polq as a cancer drug target and ongoing Polq drug development studies will be discussed.



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