DNA polymerase theta (POLQ)

DNA polymerase that boosts microhomology-mediated end- joining (MMEJ), an alternative non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) machinery triggered in reaction to double-strand breaks in DNA (PubMed:25642963, PubMed:25643323). MMEJ is an error-prone repair pathway which produces deletions of sequences in the strand being fixed and promotes genomic rearrangements, such as telomere fusions, some of them resulting in cellular transformation (PubMed:25642963, PubMed:25643323).

POLQ functions as an inhibitor of homology-recombination repair (HR) pathway by restricting RAD51 accumulation at resected ends (PubMed:25642963). POLQ-mediated MMEJ may be required to foster the survival of cells with a compromised HR repair pathway, thereby preventing genomic havoc by resolving unrepaired lesions (By similarity).