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

Highly mutable sites for ICR-170-induced frameshift mutations are associated with potential DNA hairpin structures: studies with SUP4 and other Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes.

The majority of the mutations induced by ICR-170 in both the CYC1 gene (J. F. Ernst et al. Genetics 111:233-241, 1985) and the HIS4 gene (L. Mathison and M. R. Culbertson, Mol. Cell. Biol. 5:2247-2256, 1985) of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were recently shown to be single G . C base-pair insertions at monotonous runs of two or more G . C base pairs. However, not all sites were equally mutable; in both the CYC1 and HIS4 genes there is a single highly mutable site where a G . C base pair is preferentially inserted at a [sequence in text]. Here we report the ICR-170 mutagen specificity at the SUP4-o tyrosine tRNA gene of yeast. Genetic fine structure analysis and representative DNA sequence determination of ICR-170-induced mutations revealed that there is also a single highly mutable site in SUP4-o and that the mutation is a G . C base-pair insertion at a monotonous run of G . C base pairs. Analysis of DNA sequences encompassing the regions of highly mutable sites for all three genes indicated that the mutable sites are at the bases of potential hairpin structures; this type of structure could not be found at any of the other, less mutable G . C runs in SUP4, CYC1, and HIS4. Based on these results and recent information regarding novel DNA structural conformations, we present a mechanism for ICR-170-induced mutagenesis. (i) ICR-170 preferentially binds to DNA in the beta conformation; factors that increase the temporal stability of this structure, such as adjacent stem-and-loop formation, increase the frequency of ICR-170 binding; (ii) the observed mutagen specificity reflects formation of a preferred ICR-170 intercalative geometry at [sequence in text] sites; (iii) during replication or repair, ICR-170 remains associated with the single-stranded template; (iv) stuttering or strand slippage by the polymerization complex as it encounters the mutagen results in nucleotide duplication; (v) subsequent replication or mismatch repair fixes the insertion into the genome. This mechanism accounts for both the IRC-170 mutagenic specificity and the molecular basis of the highly mutable sites in S. cerevisiae.[1]


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