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Mutat Res. 1987 Sep;180(1):67-73.

RecA-independent mutagenesis in Escherichia coli may be subject to glucose repression.


The frameshift mutagen 9-aminoacridine (9AA) causes DNA damage via a recA+-independent mechanism in Escherichia coli. In this study we have exposed E. coli cells carrying the lacZ19124 frameshift marker to 9AA in defined minimal media, washed them, and plated to score for Lac+ revertants. Our results show that 9AA-induced reversion to Lac+ occurs in the absence of any exogenous carbon source and when cells are plated on media which do not allow much, if any, cell replication prior to expression of the revertant phenotype. When glycerol (1% w/v) was added to the liquid treatment medium, the number of Lac+ E. coli revertants was similar to that obtained when no carbon source was present. By contrast the addition of glucose (1% w/v) during the mutagenesis treatment caused a significant decrease in the number of revertants. Further experiments indicate that the repressing effects of glucose may be due to a reduction in cAMP concentration, since 9AA mutagenesis was abolished in a cya strain in which no adenylate cyclase is produced. These results are consistent with (but do not prove) the notion that at least one part of the process leading to 9AA mutagenesis is subject to catabolite repression.

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