Section 46
Chapter 45,782

Differences in mutagenesis during minus strand, plus strand and strand transfer (recombination) synthesis of the HIV-1 gene in vitro

Wu, W.; Palaniappan, C.; Bambara, R.A.; Fay, P.J.

Nucleic Acids Research 24(9): 1710-1718


ISSN/ISBN: 0305-1048
PMID: 8649990
DOI: 10.1093/nar/24.9.1710
Accession: 045781176

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We have developed an HIV nef-Escherichia coli lacZ fusion system in vitro that allows the detection of low frequency mutations, including frameshifts, deletions and insertions. A portion of the nef gene that encompasses a hypervariable region was fused in-frame with a downstream lacZalpha peptide coding region. The resulting lacZalpha peptide fusion protein remained functional. Any frameshift mutations in the nef insert would put the downstream lacZ alpha peptide gene out of frame, eliminating alpha complementation. With this system we compared the error rates of frameshift mutations that arise during DNA-directed and RNA-directed DNA synthesis. Results showed that DNA-directed and RNA-directed DNA synthesis did not contribute equally to the generation of mutations. DNA-directed DNA synthesis generated frameshift mutations at a frequency approximately 10-fold higher than those arising from RNA-directed DNA synthesis. RNA-directed DNA synthesis in the presence of acceptor templates showed an increase in mutation rate and differences in the mutation spectrum. The enhancement of mutation rate was caused by the appearance of mutations at three new locations that correlated with likely recombination sites. Results indicate that recombination is another source of mutations during viral replication.

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