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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mutational pattern of the nurse shark antigen receptor gene ( NAR) is similar to that of mammalian Ig genes and to spontaneous mutations in evolution: the translesion synthesis model of somatic hypermutation.

The pattern of somatic mutations of shark and frog Ig is distinct from somatic hypermutation of Ig in mammals in that there is a bias to mutate GC base pairs and a low frequency of mutations. Previous analysis of the new antigen receptor gene in nurse sharks ( NAR), however, revealed no bias to mutate GC base pairs and the frequency of mutation was comparable to that of mammalian IgG. Here, we analyzed 1023 mutations in NAR and found no targeting of the mechanism to any particular nucleotide but did obtain strong evidence for a transition bias and for strand polarity. As seen for all species studied to date, the serine codon AGC/T in NAR was a mutational hotspot. The NAR mutational pattern is most similar to that of mammalian IgG and furthermore both are strikingly akin to mutations acquired during the neutral evolution of nuclear pseudogenes, suggesting that a similar mechanism is at work for both processes. In yeast, most spontaneous mutations are introduced by the translesion synthesis DNA polymerase zeta (REV3) and in various DNA repair-deficient backgrounds transitions were more often REV3-dependent than were transversions. Therefore, we propose a model of somatic hypermutation where DNA polymerase zeta is recruited to the Ig locus. An excess of DNA glycosylases in germinal center reactions may further enhance the mutation frequency by a REV3-dependent mutagenic process known as imbalanced base excision repair.[1]


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