Comparison of the relative mutagenicities of O-alkylthymines site-specifically incorporated into phi X174 DNA.

B. D. Preston, B. Singer, L. A. Loeb

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58 Scopus citations


The relative mutagenicities of O-alkylthymine-DNA adducts were analyzed in vivo by site-specific mutagenesis. Purified DNA polymerases were used to incorporate O4-methyl (Me)-, O4-ethyl (Et)-, O4-isopropyl (iPr)-, or O2-Me-dTTP onto the 3' terminus of a synthetic oligonucleotide (15-mer) hybridized to phi X174 am3 DNA. The product oligonucleotides were further extended in the presence of unmodified dNTPs to yield 21-mers containing single O-alkylthymine adducts opposite the adenine residue of the bacteriophage amber codon. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and nearest-neighbor analyses confirmed the identities and nucleotide positions of the adducts. Transfection and replication of the site-specifically alkylated DNAs in ada- Escherichia coli (defective in the alkyltransferase capable of repairing O4-alkylthymine-DNA adducts) yielded mutant progeny phage with reversion frequencies of: O4-Me-dThd (19.5 X 10(-6) ) greater than O4-Et-dThd (7.5 X 10(-6) ) greater than O4-iPr-dThd (3.0 X 10(-6) ) greater than or equal to O2-Me-dThd (1.0 X 10(-6) ) approximately equal to dThd (2.0 X 10(-6) ). None of the adducts produced mutations above background following replication in ada+ E. coli. DNA sequence analyses of 40 independently isolated mutant phage derived from the O4-Me- or O4-Et-dThd-containing DNAs showed that all mutants contained guanine residues opposite the original site of the alkylthymines. These data are consistent with a mechanism of mutagenesis involving the formation of O4-alkyl-T.G base pairs during DNA replication in E. coli and suggest that the formation of A.T----G.C transition mutations is characteristic of mutagenesis by O4-Me- and O4-Et-dThds in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13821-13827
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of biological chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - Oct 5 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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