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

Complex frameshift mutations mediated by plasmid pKM101: mutational mechanisms deduced from 4-aminobiphenyl-induced mutation spectra in Salmonella.

We used colony probe hybridization and polymerase chain reaction/DNA sequence analysis to determine the mutations in approximately 2,400 4-aminobiphenyl (4-AB) +S9-induced revertants of the -1 frameshift allele hisD3052 and of the base-substitution allele hisG46 of Salmonella typhimurium. Most of the mutations occurred at sites containing guanine, which is the primary base at which 4-AB forms DNA adducts. A hotspot mutation involving the deletion of a CG or GC within the sequence CGCGCGCG accounted for 100 and 99.9%, respectively, of the reversion events at the hisD3052 allele in the pKM101 plasmid-minus strains TA1978 (uvr+) and TA1538 (delta uvrB). In strain TA98 (delta uvrB, pKM101), which contained the SOS DNA repair system provided by the pKM101 plasmid, approximately 85% of the revertants also contained the hotspot deletion; the remaining approximately 15% contained one of two types of mutations: (1) complex frameshifts that can be described as a -2 or +1 frameshift and an associated base substitution and (2) deletions of the CC or GG sequences that flank the hotspot site (CCGCGCGCGG). We propose a misincorporation/slippage model to account for these mutations in which (1) pKM101-mediated misincorporation and translesion synthesis occurs across a 4-AB-adducted guanine; (2) the instability of such a mispairing and/or the presence of the adduct leads to strand slippage in a run of repeated bases adjacent to the adducted guanine; and (3) continued DNA synthesis from the slipped intermediate produces a frameshift associated with a base substitution. This model readily accounts for the deletion of the CC or GG sequences flanking the hotspot site, indicating that these mutations are, in fact, complex mutations in disguise (i.e., cryptic complex frameshifts). The inferred base-substitution specificity associated with the complex frameshifts at the hisD3052 allele (primarily G.C-->T.A transversions) is consistent with the finding that 4-AB induced primarily G.C-->T.A transversions at the hisG46 base-substitution allele. The model also provides a framework for understanding the different relative mutagenic potencies of 4-AB at the two alleles in the various DNA repair backgrounds of Salmonella.[1]


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