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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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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


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.

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