The activities of DNA polymerases α,β, and γwere determined in control and repair-deficient human fibroblasts (xeroderma pigmentosum complementation groups A, C, and D; Fanconi's Anemia; and Bloom's syndrome). Assays were done on 103.000XG supernatants which had been chromatographed on DEAE cellulose to remove nucleic acids and on fractions containing polymerase activities which had been separated from one another on a second DEAE cellulose column. All repair-deficient cell types contained all three DNA polymerase activities. Caffeine, which has been observed to inhibit some DNA-repair processes in intact cells, had no effect on DNA polymerase activities from XP-A, XP-C, XP-D or XP-variant cells. These data indicate that all three polymerases are present in cells which have reduced or absent repair functions and that the caffeine effects observed in living cells are probably not due to the direct action of caffeine on DNA polymerases.
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