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Mutat Res. 2010 Oct;705(2):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 May 13.

DNA methylation and mutator genes in Escherichia coli K-12.

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  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA. martin.marinus@umassmed.edu


Mutator strains of Escherichia coli have been used to define mechanisms that account for the high fidelity of chromosome duplication and chromosome stability. Mutant strains defective in post-replicative mismatch repair display a strong mutator phenotype consistent with a role for correction of mismatches arising from replication errors. Inactivation of the gene (dam) encoding DNA adenine methyltransferase results in a mutator phenotype consistent with a role for DNA methylation in strand discrimination during mismatch repair. This review gives a personal perspective on the discovery of dam mutants in E. coli and their relationship to mismatch repair and mutator phenotypes.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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