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

Induction, by thymidylate stress, of genetic recombination as evidenced by deletion of a transferred genetic marker in mouse FM3A cells.

Studies were made on the genetic consequences of methotrexate-directed thymidylate stress, focusing attention on a human thymidylate synthase gene that was introduced as a heterologous genetic marker into mouse thymidylate synthase-negative mutant cells. Thymidylate stress induced thymidylate synthase-negative segregants with concomitant loss of human thymidylate synthase activity with frequencies 1 to 2 orders of magnitude higher than the uninduced spontaneous level in some but not all transformant lines. Induction of the segregants was suppressed almost completely by cycloheximide and partially by caffeine. Thymidylate stress did not, however, induce mutations, as determined by measuring resistance to ouabain or 6-thioguanine. Thymidylate synthase-negative segregants were also induced by other means such as bromodeoxyuridine treatment and X-ray irradiation. In each of the synthase-negative segregants induced by thymidylate stress, a DNA segment including almost the whole coding region of the transferred human thymidylate synthase gene was deleted in a very specific manner, as shown by Southern blot analysis with a human Alu sequence and a human thymidylate synthase cDNA as probes. In the segregants that emerged spontaneously at low frequency, the entire transferred genetic marker was lost. In the segregants induced by X-ray irradiation, structural alterations of the genetic marker were random. These results show that thymidylate stress is a physiological factor that provokes the instability of this exogenously incorporated DNA in some specific manner and produces nonrandom genetic recombination in mammalian cells.[1]


  1. Induction, by thymidylate stress, of genetic recombination as evidenced by deletion of a transferred genetic marker in mouse FM3A cells. Ayusawa, D., Koyama, H., Shimizu, K., Kaneda, S., Takeishi, K., Seno, T. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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