We are molecular immunologists and immunogeneticists, and we have spent decades working with our collaborators on the mechanism of immunoglobulin somatic hypermutation. We bring to your attention an important issue of scientific priority and thus maintenance of the integrity of the published scientific record. We have just become aware of two articles published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that describe the reverse transcriptase activity of human DNA polymerase η (Su et al., 2017; Su et al., 2019). We would like it to be noted that clear priority for the demonstration of the reverse transcriptase activity of human DNA polymerase η was published previously by us in the journal Immunology and Cell Biology (Franklin et al., 2004). Please find the abstracts of all three articles below. We would appreciate that our note here be published without delay in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and linked to both articles (Su et al., 2017; Su et al., 2019) so that the scientific record is corrected. Our collaborators and colleagues in the international scientific community are following developments closely with us and we look forward to this matter being resolved promptly by publication of this letter and necessary attachments (see short list of supporting colleagues below).
Andrew Franklin PhD, Edward J. Steele PhD
Franklin A., Milburn P.J., Blanden R.V., Steele E.J. (2004). Human DNA polymerase-η , an A-T mutator in somatic hypermutation of rearranged immunoglobulin genes, is a reverse transcriptase. Immunol Cell Biol 82, 219–25.
Su Y., Egli M., Guengerich F.P. (2017). Human DNA polymerase η accommodates RNA for strand extension. J Biol Chem 292, 18044–51.
Su Y., Ghodke P.P., Egli M., Li L., Wang Y., Guengerich F.P. (2019). Human DNA polymerase η has reverse transcriptase activity in cellular environments. J Biol Chem, in press (published on March 6, 2019).