© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
Damaged DNA can be repaired by removal and re-synthesis of up to 30 nucleotides during base or nucleotide excision repair. An important question is what happens when many more nucleotides are removed, resulting in long single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) lesions. Such lesions appear on chromosomes during telomere damage, double strand break repair or after the UV damage of stationary phase cells. Here, we show that long single-stranded lesions, formed at dysfunctional telomeres in budding yeast, are re-synthesized when cells are removed from the telomere-damaging environment. This process requires Pol32, an accessory factor of Polymerase δ. However, re-synthesis takes place even when the telomere-damaging conditions persist, in which case the accessory factors of both polymerases δ and ε are required, and surprisingly, salt. Salt added to the medium facilitates the DNA synthesis, independently of the osmotic stress responses. These results provide unexpected insights into the DNA metabolism and challenge the current view on cellular responses to telomere dysfunction.