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Science. 2010 Jul 2;329(5987):82-5. doi: 10.1126/science.1191125.

Increased mutagenesis and unique mutation signature associated with mitotic gene conversion.

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  • 1Department of Biology and Rosenstiel Center, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454-9110, USA.

Erratum in

  • Science. 2010 Oct 22;330(6003):448.


To examine the fidelity of DNA synthesis during double-strand break (DSB) repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae we studied gene conversion in which both strands of DNA are newly synthesized. The mutation rate increases up to 1400 times over spontaneous events, with a significantly different mutation signature. Especially prominent are microhomology-mediated template switches. Recombination-induced mutations are largely independent of mismatch repair, by DNA polymerases Polzeta, Poleta, and Pol32, but result from errors made by Poldelta and Polepsilon. These observations suggest that increased DSB frequencies in oncogene-activated mammalian cells may also increase the probability of acquiring mutations required for transition to a cancerous state.

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