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Gene Review

mutT  -  nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphohydrolase

Escherichia coli CFT073

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Disease relevance of mutT

  • When the cDNA for human 8-oxo-dGTPase was expressed in Escherichia coli mutT- mutant cells devoid of self 8-oxo-dGTPase activity, the elevated level of spontaneous A:T to C:G mutation frequency reverted to normal [1].
  • The frequency of lambdabio transducing phage was 5- to 12-fold higher in the mutM mutant than in the wild type, while the frequency in the mutY and mutT mutants was comparable to that of the wild type [2].

High impact information on mutT

  • Strong mutator phenotypes of cells defective in both mutM and mutY genes or ones lacking mutT gene were completely suppressed under the anaerobic condition, indicative of an absence of hydroxyl radicals in the cells [3].
  • Also, we can measure a mutator cascade, in which one type of mutator (mutT) generates a second mutator (mutHLS) that then allows stepwise frameshift mutations [4].
  • Except for mutants of mutT type, these mutators also showed high mutability by bromouracil [5].
  • That the spontaneous mutation frequency of the Escherichia coli mutT mutant is much higher than that of the mutM or mutY mutant indicates a significant potential for mutation due to 8-oxoG incorporation opposite A and G during DNA replication [6].


  1. Genomic structure and chromosome location of the human mutT homologue gene MTH1 encoding 8-oxo-dGTPase for prevention of A:T to C:G transversion. Furuichi, M., Yoshida, M.C., Oda, H., Tajiri, T., Nakabeppu, Y., Tsuzuki, T., Sekiguchi, M. Genomics (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. Escherichia coli mutM suppresses illegitimate recombination induced by oxidative stress. Onda, M., Hanada, K., Kawachi, H., Ikeda, H. Genetics (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. Impact of reactive oxygen species on spontaneous mutagenesis in Escherichia coli. Sakai, A., Nakanishi, M., Yoshiyama, K., Maki, H. Genes Cells (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. Direct selection for mutators in Escherichia coli. Miller, J.H., Suthar, A., Tai, J., Yeung, A., Truong, C., Stewart, J.L. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Bromouracil mutagenesis and mismatch repair in mutator strains of Escherichia coli. Rydberg, B. Mutat. Res. (1978) [Pubmed]
  6. Escherichia coli Nth and human hNTH1 DNA glycosylases are involved in removal of 8-oxoguanine from 8-oxoguanine/guanine mispairs in DNA. Matsumoto, Y., Zhang, Q.M., Takao, M., Yasui, A., Yonei, S. Nucleic Acids Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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