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

Blocking by the carcinogen, L-ethionine, of SOS functions in a tif-1 mutant of Escherichia coli B/r.

In Escherichia coli, DNA damage by carcinogenic agents results in the coordinate expression of a diversity of functions (SOS functions), many of which are thermally inducible without any damage to DNA in a tif-1 mutant. These include prophage induction, filamentous growth, and an error-prone DNA repair activity, which is responsible for ultraviolet-induced mutagenesis. Ethionine causes hepatic carcinoma in rats after prolonged feeding but is not a mutagen in the Ames test. The present study shows that 10 mM ethionine prevents the thermal induction of lambda-prophage in a tif-1 derivative of E. coli. The enhancement of mutation, which normally occurs at high temperature after a low dose of ultraviolet light, is also blocked by ethionine. Ethionine does not block, to any appreciable extent, the incorporation of radioactive precursors into RNA, DNA, or protein.[1]


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