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Mechanisms of spontaneous mutagenesis an analysis of the spectrum of spontaneous mutation in the escherichia coli lac 1 gene

Mechanisms of spontaneous mutagenesis an analysis of the spectrum of spontaneous mutation in the escherichia coli lac 1 gene

Journal of Molecular Biology 189(2): 273-284

We have obtained via DNA sequence analysis a spectrum of 174 spontaneous mutations occurring in the lacI gene of Escherichia coli. The spectrum comprised base substitution, frameshift, deletion, duplication and insertion mutations, of which the relative contributions to spontaneous mutation could be estimated. Two thirds of all lacI mutations occurred in the frameshift hotspot site. An analysis of the local DNA sequence suggested that the intensity of this hotspot may depend on structural features of the DNA that extend beyond those permitted by the repeated tetramer at this site. Deletions comprised the largest non-hotspot class (37%). They could be divided into two subclasses, depending on whether they included the lac operator sequence; the latter was found to be a preferred site for deletion endpoints. Most of the deletions internal to the lacI gene were associated with the presence of directly or invertedly repeated sequences capable of accounting for their endpoints. Base substitutions comprised 34% of the non-hotspots events. Unlike the base substitution spectrum obtained via nonsense mutations. G .cntdot. C .fwdarw. A .cntdot. T transitions do not predominate. A new base substitution hotspot was discovered at position +6 in the lac operator; its intensity may reflect specific features of the operator DNA. IS1 insertion mutations contributed 12% of the non-hotspot mutations and occurred dispersed throughout the gene in both orientations. Since the lacI gene is not A+T-rich, the contribution of IS1 insertion to spontaneous mutation in general might be underestimated. Single-base frameshift mutations were found only infrequently. In general, they did not occur in runs of a common base. Instead, their occurrence seemed based on the "perfection" of direct or inverted repeats in the local DNA sequence. Three (tandem) duplication events were recovered. No repeated sequences were found that might have determined their endpoints.

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Accession: 005871092

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PMID: 3018259

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