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

Induction of mitotic recombination in yeast by starvation for thymine nucleotides.

The biosynthesis of thymine nucleotides in Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be inhibited either by genetic lesions in the structural gene for thymidylate synthetase (TMP1) or by drugs that prevent the methylation of dUMP to dTMP. This methylation can be blocked by folate antagonists. We find that 5-fluoro-dUMP (FdUMP) is also an effective inhibitor in vivo. Inhibition of dTMP biosynthesis by these three different routes causes thymineless death. In addition to being cytotoxic, we find that FdUMP is highly recombinagenic in yeast but does not induce nuclear gene mutations. Provision of exogenous dTMP eliminates this induced mitotic recombination and cell killing. Similar results were obtained when a thymineless condition was provoked in cells by antifolate drugs or by dTMP deprivation in strains auxotrophic for this nucleotide. These findings show that, in contrast to the situation in prokaryotes, starvation for thymine nucleotides in yeast induces genetic recombination but is not mutagenic.[1]


  1. Induction of mitotic recombination in yeast by starvation for thymine nucleotides. Kunz, B.A., Barclay, B.J., Game, J.C., Little, J.G., Haynes, R.H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1980) [Pubmed]
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